The smartphone reigns fully supreme in the South Korean mobile market as tablets still fight their way into the lives of more Koreans. One of the reasons behind the low adoption rate is the immense popularity of text messaging amongst the populace.
According to research group eMarkerter, tablet penetration in South Korea remains comparatively low with the rest of the Asia-Pacific region with just over 20% of South Korea’s population using a tablet at least once per month, compared with over 45% of the population of Australia, 24.1% in China and 23.3% in Japan.
Haixia Wang, vice president of forecasting at eMarketer, pointed to Korea’s high adoption rate of phablets (a mix of phone and tablet) as one of the causes.
“One major reason the tablet population in South Korea will remain under 10 million this year is the country’s high adoption of phablets, which represent a high percentage of smartphones in South Korea and may make tablets a less attractive option for users who already have a fairly large mobile screen at their fingertips.”
Another factor is the immense popularity of text messaging among South Koreans, which requires the more convenient use of the smartphone.
“Research also indicates that a high share of mobile internet users in the country access the mobile web via smartphone, rather than a tablet or feature phone, and popular mobile service KakaoTalk pretty much requires the immediacy of a smartphone,” explained Wang.