Mobiles entrenched in lives of Asians

Users in the region are inseparable from their mobile phones as these gadgets have become integral to their daily activities, a recent survey suggests.
Written by Victoria Ho, Contributor

Mobile phones have crept steadily into the lifestyles of Asian users, and have become an integral part of daily activity, according to a new survey.

The Synovate survey on consumer behavior, commissioned by Microsoft's Windows Mobile division, found 58 percent of Asians polled across China, India, Japan, Taiwan and Australia wanted to use their mobiles on flights.

The 69 percent of respondents in favor of using their phones while flying, said this would help keep friends and family informed of flight changes, according to the survey.

Affecting their purchasing decisions, cost was the highest-rated factor, followed by brand.

On a lighter note, the survey also covered user habits in the region. A quarter of users across the markets surveyed said they used mobile phones in meetings. "Almost 80 percent of Asians polled use a mobile phone while eating with other people," the survey learnt.

Indians are the "most social" with 69 percent most likely to use their phones in a cinema, 21 percent in a place of worship and 79 percent at a wedding ceremony.

Natasha Kwan, general manager, Asia, mobile communications business, Microsoft, said in a statement: "This survey provides us with really interesting insights into the mobile usage habits of Asians and shows how entrenched the mobile phone is in all aspects of our lives.

"With the smartphone boom in Asia, we expect the phone will play an even more central role in people’s lives in the future, becoming a universal remote control of sorts."

Mobile payments and browsing have been hot topics for the mobile industry, and are expected to continue to draw attention in 2009.

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