Hong Kong held steady as having the world’s most highly connected population followed by North America (USA, Canada and Mexico), according to GfK’s Connected Consumer Index.
The new Index is a ranking of 78 countries and eight world regions that provides fast and direct comparison of how highly connected each population is.
The index shows which countries have the world’s most connected consumers, both overall and in detail across each of eleven different device types (smartphone, tablet, mobile PC, desktop PC, wearables, smart TV, TV set-top box, videogame console, e-reader, connected car and smart home), together with trends over the last five years.
The Top 10 index had no other APAC countries as the other connected countries included: UAE, Norway, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Great Britain, Switzerland, Denmark and Sweden.
In Asia Pacific, Singapore and Australia trailed Hong Kong at second and third place and 13th and 17th respectively on a global level. Except for Vietnam which managed to climb two spots—from 61 last year to 59 this year, all other markets either maintained or fell in ranking. Most significantly, Japan descended by 10 spots to 30th ranking globally; falling below Taiwan this year. South Korea also dropped to 38 from 31. Bangladesh and India stood at 71st and 72nd position globally.
“In the emerging APAC region, the high level of smartphone adoption has been the key driver propelling connectivity in the countries, as this is the primary device—and often the first device—for consumers to connect to data services,” commented Stanley Kee, Managing Director for Southeast Asia at GfK.
“This trend is likely to remain dominant for the next two to three years as pricing reductions means smartphones will become even more affordable and within reach of increasing number of consumers who will be able to own and connect with a personal device for the first time,” he added.
Mr Kee concluded, “As for the developed markets such as Hong Kong and Singapore, the growth drivers have already moved to the next wave of consumer connectivity—wearables are now the ‘in-thing’, together with connected cars and both these are providing new consumer benefits. Smart home technology is an equally significant opportunity, but expected to be slower and steadier in terms of the consumer adoption curve. As technology continues to evolve and mature at their own pace in individual markets, we are increasingly seeing that local country drivers are having a relatively bigger impact on growth, as opposed to global or regional trends – with consumers connecting in ever bigger numbers and different ways.”