With more South Koreans turning to smartphones and tablets, the penetration rate of computers dropped to its lowest level in 15 years., with market penetration now at 75.3 percent, marking the lowest rate since 2001, says the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning, and the Korea Internet & Security Agency.
Personal computer penetration had been on a steady rise until 2012, when the rate stood at 82.3 percent. With computing going mobile on the back of the popularity of smartphones, the penetration rate began falling to 80.6 percent in 2013, 78.2 percent in 2014 and 77.1 percent in 2015.
The penetration rate of laptop computers also fell to 64.5 percent last year, compared to 67.3 percent in 2015 and 70.2 percent in 2014.
The penetration rate of smartphones rose to 88.5 percent last year, compared to 86.4 percent in 2015 and 84.1 percent in 2014.
The number of Internet users accounted for 88.3 percent of the nation’s total population last year, compared with 78 percent in 2011, according to the data. According to the data, 31.7 percent of people aged over 65 own a smartphone, while 93.9 percent of people aged below 65 own a smartphone.
Older generation coming online
The data additionally shows that Korea’s older generation is more frequently online, with the number of Internet users aged 65 and older rose hitting 2.63 million in 2016. That’s a sizable rise from about 742,000 in 2011 the study reported.