96pc of Hongkongers use their smartphone to go online everyday

Figures show we're not all talk when it comes to smartphones

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 21 August, 2013, 4:05pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 22 August, 2013, 11:44am

It’s often the first object we reach for in the morning and, for many, the last thing we look at before bed. We use them on the train – and sometimes even on the toilet. If it seems like every Hongkonger owns a smartphone, that’s because it is not too far from the truth.

New findings published on Wednesday by Google and Ipsos MediaCT, a think tank, revealed that smartphone penetration in the city hit 63 per cent in this year’s first quarter, compared to 49 per cent in the same period last year and 35 per cent in 2011.

The study found Hong Kong to have the highest mobile internet usage rate in the Asia Pacific region with 96 per cent of smartphone owners going online every day. Japan came in second place in the region at 94 per cent, Singapore at 93 per cent and Korea at 92 per cent. China punched in at 90 per cent. 

The online study was conducted on a random sampling of 1,000 adults between the ages of 18 and 64 in the first three months of the year. The male to female ratio was evenly split and roughly half of the respondents surveyed were between the ages of 18 to 34.

The city ranks seventh in the world in terms of smartphone penetration, according to Google’s Our Mobile Planet data and analysis tool. Singapore and South Korea rank fourth and second respectively.

Some people actually look at their smartphones more than their own boyfriend or girlfriend these days
Google Hong Kong

More than half of respondents said they spent more time online on their phones than online on their computers in the past six months. Smartphones appear to have become so important that 22 per cent of users said they would rather give up television than their smartphones.

Nearly all respondents used their smartphones to look up local information with 70 per cent admitting to doing it at least once a week and 39 per cent doing it daily. The most popular searches among Hongkongers were for restaurants, pubs and bars (66 per cent), travel information (56 per cent), jobs (40 per cent) and housing information (36 per cent).

The average smartphone was found to have about 39 mobile applications stored on their smartphones with at least 10 paid-for apps.

“Smartphones have become an indispensable part of local people’s lives as 96 per cent of Hong Kong users use their smartphones to browse the internet every day,” said Google Hong Kong’s head of sales Stella Cheung, adding that three-quarter of respondents don’t leave home without their beloved devices.

“Some people actually look at their smartphones more than their own boyfriend or girlfriend these days”.