Monday, February 18, 2013

Why is Southeast Asia evolving to be a hotbed for Mobile Internet Innovation?

Welcoming 2013 into Southeast Asia came amidst an increasing energy and momentum in how the mobile social internet market landscape is evolving into a hotbed for innovation. In fact, the Jan 3 2013 NextWeb article laid out further credence to these exciting times for tech start-ups in the melting pot of rich cultures and opportunities abound in this region.

In my last post "4 Hot Trends to watch in 2013", I talked about ... 

  1. Tablets will rule with Smart Tabs, Mass Tabs, Phablets
  2. Content and merchandise everywhere
  3. Apps with niche communities thrive
  4. Communication made richer via mobile social
In the Southeast Asia markets, the above market trends are either amplified or growing very quickly. Have a look at the 3 following observations.

(1) Southeast Asia market landscape update highlights the huge addressable base and growth (updated recently - see above for snapshot)

  • With a 550 million population, and more than 630 million mobile lines activated.
  • More than 120 million smartphone subscribers, and rapidly growing.
  • Huge base of highly social consumers at 126 million Facebook users, probably more than 50% accessing from their smartphones or feature phones while on the go.

(2) Daily habits (email, reading news, chat etc) are increasingly embraced here in Southeast Asia markets.

  • Marissa Mayer, ex-Googler, current Yahoo CEO, talks about Yahoo's focus on cultivating and innovating upon the daily habits of consumers with Yahoo's assets and experience.
  • From the attached chart from the Nielsen "The Evolving Media Habits, Lifestyles and Attitudes of Southeast Asian Consumers" June 2011 report, you can see how these daily habits are in fact already increasingly embraced in the Southeast Asia markets here.
(3) Ecosystem stimuli from crowdfunding platforms, accelerator programs,  market entry consultancies, startup ignition outreach players

  • Southeast Asia startup scene has been inundated especially in the recent 12 months with additional varied options of funding (Crowdonomic), support with market entry development (Accelerasia), acceleration camps (JDFI Asia), and startup ignition outreach programs (e27, TechinAsia).

What have your observations been for the Southeast Asia markets for the mobile internet?

Let's engage.

Best regards,
Profile: Nelson Wee's LinkedIn Page
Twitter: @nelsonwee
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More references for your reading:

  1. Why Southeast Asia is the World's most exciting region for startups and tech in 2013
  2. South East Asia - the most exciting region for startups in 2013
  3. Southeast Asia Mobile Internet Market Landscape
  4. The Digital Media and Habits Attitudes of Southeast Asian consumers 
  5. 4 Hot Trends to Watch in 2013
  6. Southeast Asia Market Sizing for Internet Commerce

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