Wednesday, January 29, 2014

How quickly things change: Apple has 57% of mobile browsing share in China and 69% of market share in Japan?

It's amazing how quickly things change in the mobile and tablet markets. A year or two ago, discussions about global campaigns had caveats that while smartphones running Android and iOS were popular in the United States and Europe, Asia was still dominated by flip phones running local OSes and generally needed a different approach.
Apple recently announced a partnership with China Mobile and during the event, CEO Tim Cook stated that 57% of mobile browsing in China comes from iOS devices. During the the last quarterly earning call, CFO Peter Oppenheimer discussed a partnership with NTT Docomo in Japan and stated that the iPhone makes up 69% of the market share in Japan. These figures have of course lead to discussion about how they were derived, arguments that Android has more market share and discussion about the importance of Asia to Apple
Apple's Asia strategy aside, what stands out to me isn't the question of whether iOS or Android is more popular, but rather the fact that the discussion is all about smartphones. This means responsive websites and apps both deserve consideration in omnichannel marketing campaigns and service offerings for companies, supplanting primarily text and QR based campaigns that may have been successful a few years ago.  This means that the tools and technologies used elsewhere are increasingly relevant, although the content and message needs to be targeted for local audiences.
Ultimately, like any marketing or product decision, how to proceed in Asia demands more insight into what customers are being served. Different countries have different expectations, and within a country, demographics and targeting can play a major role - is your service designed for the mass-market, a niche industry or a specific age and wealth target? This information can make targeting iOS, Android, both or something else first a top priority. 

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