iPhone Usage Across Asia
Share this on

iPhone Usage Across Asia

Mobile advertising firm AdMob, whose acquisition by Google recently received the green light, recently published a number of interesting statistics relating to usage of the Apple OS (“iOS”) – iPhone, iPad, iPod touch – across the world.

Given the recently focus on iPhone, with the announcement of version 4, I’m focusing on AdMob’s iPhone usage statistics across Asia during April 2010.

Before starting it must be noted that AdMob statistics track the number of iOS devices which it has “served” an advert to. However, as AdMob has considerable visibility and these numbers are both reputable and insightful.

From the report.

AdMob does not claim that this information will be necessarily representative of the mobile Web as a whole or of any particular country-market. AdMob’s traffic is driven by publisher relationships and may be influenced accordingly. Because the data is pulled across ads served on more than 15,000 sites and applications, we feel the data will be useful and may help inform business decision making.

The statistics count unique devices so a device is only counted more than once if it has been served AdMob ads from two or more different mobile operators.

iPhone Usage Across Asia/Southeast Asia

The chart below (with Southeast Asia countries in bold) shows that, unsurprisingly, Japan ands its advanced mobile telecom industry has the highest number of active iPhones in Asia. Globally Japan has the world’s fourth largest number of active iPhones.

A combination of advanced data services (3G began in Japan), a high level of smartphone ownership, Apple’s focus on the Japanese market and advanced consumer habits – e.g. video chat, mobile social networking, mobile web browsing – are what makes Japan stand apart from the rest of Asia.


Australia and Singapore stand out for having large iPhone penetration rates, calculating from Admob’s usage figures on each country’s population. iPhone enjoys large percentages rates for a number of reasons, principally that both countries’ sizeable urban populations, less rural-based people and thus a lower level of digital divide exists.

Advanced mobile technology and greater average wealth in both countries are also important factors.

As CNET Asia notes, Singapore in particular is noteworthy for having the world’s highest iOS penetration, according to Admob’s data close to one in ten of the country use an iOS device to access to web.

If you live in the Lion City (Singapore) and seem to see iPhones everywhere you go, don’t worry, you’re not seeing things. It’s really everywhere.

Philippines and Indonesia are well known for prolific Twitter usage, helped in no small part by fast growing smartphone and mobile internet markets, however it is clear that iPhone is not the device of choice, with BlackBerry devices amongst the more affordable options.

Malaysia and Thailand are, Singapore aside, the two largest iPhone markets in Southeast Asia. Both have a larger penetration rate although in both countries iPhone users make less than 0.5% of the population, a small niche in each market.

iPhone 4

Referring to the usage chart it is no surprise to see the upcoming iPhone 4 will hit Japan during the wave of releases with fellow Asians Hong Kong, South Korea and Singapore (not to mention near neighbour Australia) following as secondary launch markets. These are where Apple has the most devices.

As smartphone ownership is increasing in Southeast Asia we can expect the region, as a whole, to see increases in AdMob’s next report, however, for aforementioned reasons, I would expect Malaysia and Thailand to lead the growth, with Singapore continuing its hold Apple’s huge market presence.

iPod Touch Fever In Philippines

AdMob’s statistics also include the iPod touch (and iPad – dedicate post coming soon).

What is immediately noticeable from this data is just how many in Philippines are using the device to access the web.


The number of iPod Touch users is almost equal to iPhone users, something which no other Asian countries come close to (though globally, in Canada and Mexico iPod Touch users outnumber iPhone users).

Asian iPhones image via neonpunch.com