Mobile Search Trends in Asia Pacific [Study]

Google, Ipsos and the Mobile Marketing Association conducted a large-scale study called Our Mobile Planet in 2011 by asking 30,000 people in 30 countries how they use their smartphones to gain insights about mobile users and their behavior.

Here’s a look at mobile search data for 10 of the Asia Pacific countries from the study: Australia, urban China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand.


When it comes to using search on the smartphone, India tops the list at 78 percent, followed by Korea (76 percent), with China, Indonesia, and Japan in third position at 68 percent. The U.S. lags behind these Asian countries at 57 percent.


How often do people search via their smartphones? Again, India came out tops among the Asia Pacific countries in the study at 81 percent, followed by Korea (72 percent) and Japan trailing closely behind at 71 percent. Among the Southeast Asian countries, Indonesia isn’t too far behind at 69 percent, followed by Singapore and Thailand at 60 percent.


Hungry? According to the study, Singaporeans between 18 to 29 years old are most likely to whip out their smartphones and start searching for a restaurant at 66 percent compared to their Asian counterparts. This is followed by Hong Kong (55 percent), Australia, and urban China (40 percent).

The proportion dropped by more than 15 percent for those between 30 to 49 years old, although Singaporeans still top the charts at 50 percent with Hong Kong a close second at 49 percent. Japanese in this age group are more likely to search for a restaurant or a bar on their smartphones compared to others in the younger demographic or those aged 50 and above.

Thai people over 50 years old are more likely in Asia to use their smartphones to search for a place to fill their stomachs (45 percent) behind Singaporeans at 51 percent, followed by the Japanese (34 percent) in the demographic.


The Japanese seems to be a clear winner when searching about travel on their smartphones, with those in the over 50 years old segment overtaking the younger demographic across other Asia Pacific countries, including the U.S., at 59 percent.

Urban Indonesians are the most comfortable searching travel information via their smartphones in Asia Pacific, after the Japanese, at 53 percent for the 18- to 29 year-old and 30- to 49- year-old segments. There is no data available for those aged 50 and above in this category for the country.

However, Thai people over 50 years old are more likely to search about travel on their smartphones (55 percent) behind Japan and trailing closely behind Indonesians in the other age groups at 50 percent.


Australians and Thai people are more likely to hunt for a house or flat using their smartphones, particularly those in the 18- to 29-year-old segment, at 29 percent. Singaporeans follow closely behind at 28 percent, followed by Indians (25 percent), Chinese and Malaysians (24 percent) in the same segment.

In the 30- to 49 year-old segment, India dominates at 27 percent, followed by Hong Kong (26 percent), urban China (24 percent) and then Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand (23 percent) ahead of Australia (19 percent) and the U.S. (14 percent) in the same demographic.

If you need data to justify why it’s important to have a mobile optimized site for Asia Pacific, here’s the chart that shows the percentage of smartphone owners that visited a website after local searches:


Indonesia is tops at 74 percent, followed by Thailand at 64 percent. Singapore and Malaysia are next at 59 percent and 58 percent respectively. Korea is lowest among Asia Pacific countries at 29 percent, according to this study.


Indonesia (34 percent), China (33 percent) and India (31 percent) are the top three countries with potential for mobile commerce as the chart above illustrates. This is followed by Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong and Australia.

You can also generate your own charts to find out the user behavior of smartphone owners that have conducted a product or job search as well as other insights from the Google/Ipsos result findings site.

Would love to hear from you if you found these findings useful, or additional insights about this study.

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