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APAC to lead global mobility spend at $578B by 2019

Region's spending on mobile devices and related software and services will increase 3 percent to reach US$578 billion by 2019, as emerging markets continue to urbanise and mobilise their employees.

The Asia-Pacific region, excluding Japan, will be the world's largest spender of mobility-related products and services, forking out US$578 billion by 2019.

This would represent a 3 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from the US$514 billion spent last year on mobile devices and related software and services, according to IDC. The research firm noted that businesses across various industries would increase their spending on software and services, as hardware continued to mature, to seek out opportunities in this segment.

It estimated that software revenues would double for current levels, hitting US$2 billion by 2019 as the app economy boomed in Asia-Pacific. Monetisation models, though, would still be primarily services-driven, IDC said, noting that apps would serve more as a conduit to acquire customers.

Spending on mobility-related services in the region would clock US$332 billion by 2019, surpassing that of hardware, which was forecast to reach US$243 billion by the same period.

According to IDC, China would lead the region's spending and already was spending more on services than hardware. In emerging markets, though, hardware spend would continue to see growth as many consumers and businesses in these countries adopt mobile for the first time.

The research firm explained that while mature markets in the region were tapping apps and related services to mobilise business processes, enterprises in emerging Asian markets were still focusing on mobilising their employees.

The Asia-Pacific public sector was expected to see a CAGR of 6 percent in expenditure, investing nearly US$25 billion by 2019 in mobility, as governments across the region embark on digital transformation to better serve their citizens, IDC said.

Ongoing urbanisation plans and healthy GDP growth among emerging Asian markets also would fuel mobility-related spending in the infrastructure sector, comprising telecommunications and utilities. This vertical would be the fastest-growing in the region, clocking 7 percent CAGR through to 2019.

Avinash K. Sundaram, IDC's Asia-Pacific research manager for enterprise mobility, said: "Mobility has had a significant influence in Asia, creating unique markets and business models that cater to a new generation of consumers embracing a mobile-first world. A great example of this trend is WeChat in China, which started as a messaging app rival to WhatsApp, but has now transformed itself into a social commerce platform where consumers find and pay for services ranging from food to movies and even transportation.

"The next few years will be an inflection point for mobility in Asia as many such new services and business models are created, making Asia the world's largest region for mobility," Sundaram added.