Asia Pacific set to rule mobile market

Punters in the Asia Pacific region are set to carve a grin on the faces of handset makers as people flock to mobile phones.

According to the GSMA and soothsayers Machina Research, 5.6 billion mobile connected devices will be thumbed, swiped and caressed by 2020 in the Asia Pacific market. This would account for 47 percent of the entire market share, compared to the 19.1 percent penned in for Europe and 9.4 percent seen for Fnord America.

Unsurprisingly, China is seen to be the big mover. Up to five billion internet-enabled handsets will be beyond the Great Wall. Total revenue for mobile operators in China should sit somewhere at $180 billion.

Revenues are estimated to be $447 billion for services aimed at “mobile connected devices” in the entire region, compared to $305 billion for data flatrates in Europe – and $1.2 trillion worldwide.

A lack of landline infrastructure in the region will see smartphones and slightly less intelligent handsets boom in that specific area of the globe, as it is easier and more cost-effective to build a few cell towers than to dig up roads and bury copper, or fibre-optic cables.

Throw in the effects climate change will have on the Asian Pacific region and permanently installed telecommunications infrastructure isn’t too much of a viable option – as various towns and cities will have to be surrendered to the forces of nature. Nonetheless, punters in first-world economies like Japan and South Korea are expected to lead the entire pack, owning approximately 11 connected devices per person by 2020. Simply because they can afford them.

One of the main drivers in terms of applications will be health services, as the bones cast by the wise ones spoke. Figures from Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC) foresee the mobile healthcare market to jump to $7 billion by 2017, which would mean a compound annual growth rate of 70 percent.

China will grow strongest, while Japan will increasingly monitor its ageing population per connected device and India will use remote diagnostics to aid its rural population.