With mobile phone markets like Hong Kong, Korea, Singapore, and Australia almost saturated in the Asia Pacific region, the greatest opportunities for the mobile phone companies lie in countries like India, the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, where mobile penetration is around or less than the 50 per cent mark, reveals a survey by Nielsen Media Research.
According to the survey, mobile penetration in India stands at 29 per cent, whereas China (73 per cent), Malaysia (54 per cent), Thailand (52 per cent), and the Philippines (40 per cent) are way ahead of India. Markets like Taiwan (83 per cent), Australia (87 per cent), Singapore (89 per cent), South Korea (93 per cent), and Hong Kong (95 per cent) are almost on the verge of saturation. As for the rest of the world, the US is at 71 per cent, Germany at 77 per cent, Saudi Arabia at 84 per cent, and the UK at 92 per cent.
“Penetration rates are influenced by a number of factors, including economics and population size. Affordability is obviously an issue,” commented Helen Pemberton, Director, Media Index, Asia Pacific.
To grow their markets in the Asia-Pacific countries, mobile handset companies are spending heavily on advertisement. Telecommunication companies committed a hefty $750.8 million on advertising in 2005, according to Nielsen Media Advertising Expenditure Information.
South Korea and China gobbled two-thirds of the region’s advertising in the sector, accounting for nearly $476.9 million in advertising, while India accounted a meager 5 per cent share.
Across the Asia Pacific region, the clear market leader is Nokia, with nearly two-thirds of mobile phone owners in Singapore preferring a Nokia, followed by half of Australians and Hong Kong. The only Asia Pacific market where Nokia is not a market leader is Taiwan, where Motorola takes first place with 29 per cent share ahead of Nokia’s 26 per cent.
“The telecommunications sector is hugely competitive and the battle for market share is fierce. To maintain its market leadership in such a competitive sector, Nokia spent close to $194 million in advertising across the nine Asia Pacific markets surveyed, followed closely behind by Samsung ($172.5 million) and Motorola ($125.8 million). The advertising spending of these three advertisers combined has accounted for nearly 66 per cent of the total ad spend for the mobile phone sector in 2005,” commented Pemberton.