Over the next ten years, it is estimated that the Asian middle-income population will grow by some 850 million, more than 13 times the total UK population1. What’s more, a recent report released by the Asian Development Bank reveals consumption in the region could rise to $32 trillion by 2030, overtaking the US and Europe, and in doing so accounting for 43% of the global total2.
From the industrial states of South Korea and Taiwan to the emerging economies of India, Vietnam and Malaysia, there is huge diversity across the Asia-Pacific in terms of economic development, demographics and culture. These markets are quite distinct with large disparities in wealth and varying demand for different products and services, giving rise to significant opportunities within the region.
Asian Pacific consumers are expected to buy 100 million smartphones in 2011, accounting for 1 in 5 of all mobile devices sold. This figure is likely to reach almost 500 million by 20153and together with fixed internet, should generate more than $80 billion in commerce, access fees, device sales and services4.
The days of high hardware costs, poor network quality and limited access in the less developed countries within the region is gradually becoming a thing of the past. Indian companies are shining examples of such progress, having developed an £11 mobile phone, a £23 laptop5 and recently invested £25 billion on telecommunications spectrum6.
The rapid growth in mobile internet penetration and capability is likely to reshape the way consumers in the region interact with products, services and indeed each other and require consumer-facing businesses to rethink their traditional approach to marketing media.
1. Source: Fidelity, Office for National Statistics; UK population data as at June 2009
2. Source: Asia Development Bank: Key indicators for Asia and the pacific 2010
3. Source: Frost & Sullivan; Mobile Devices a Hot Area for ICT in 2011, January 2011
4. Source: McKinsey; Riding Asia’s digital tiger, September 2010
5. Source: The Guardian, July 2010
6. Source: McKinsey; Riding Asia’s digital tiger, September 2010