Thailand No.1 in region for smartphones, tablets

Thailand is poised to experience the strongest growth in smartphone and tablet use in Southeast Asia this year, says a report by Sweden's Ericsson.

The report said the penetration rate of the two devices in Thailand will top 36% and 7%, respectively, up from 17% and 2% last year.

These were the findings of an Ericsson ConsumerLab survey of 38,000 respondents in 43 countries including 1,000 Thais.

Afrizal Abdul Rahim, Ericsson ConsumerLab's head of Southeast Asia and Oceania, said the survey results predict smartphone penetration in urban Thailand will at least double this year, the highest rate among all countries surveyed.

At the same time, tablet penetration is expected to triple.

The survey listed the top three activities that smartphone owners use their devices for are browsing the internet, accessing social networks and using instant messaging.

The top three reasons respondents purchase tablets are internet surfing, playing games and entertainment.

Some 40% of Thai respondents say they connect to WiFi with their tablets, while 21% said they use their mobiles.

Bunyati Kirdniyom, Ericsson Thailand's head of communications and regulatory affairs, said the growing adoption of smartphones and tablets in the country provides bright opportunities that the government and businesses can capitalise on.

Levying more affordable mobile and data tariffs will be major challenges for the smartphone and tablet sectors.

Ericsson said worldwide, smartphone subscriptions reached 1.2 billion last year and will total 4.5 billion by 2018.

Video streaming will account for half of all mobile traffic over the next five years.

About the author

columnist
Writer: Suchit Leesa-nguansuk
Position: Senior Reporter