The Iconic "I want my MTV" has been replaced by iPhone, Android, Nokia, and any other mobile device which allows Asian youth to stay connected, interact, access the net, and otherwise entertain themselves. This appears to be the main finding from the recently released Synovate Young Asian's Study. While it appears Synovate is going to milk this researchfor all it is worth and slowly release data country by country, we do have reports from Singapore and Hong Kong through which the key findings are available.Here are a couple very quick highlights. In Hong Kong "Sixty-four percent of young Asians surveyed own a mobile phone. Hong Kong is leading the pack with 87% of youth possessing this multifunctional extension of themselves, followed by 85% of Singaporean and Korean youth.
When looking at the results by age segments, 93% of youth between age 12 to 14 in Hong Kong and Singapore own a mobile phone, above the regional average of 47%."
"the most popular mobile phone activities over the past 7 days are SMS (82%), listening to music (57%), taking pictures (54%) and playing games (52%).
Cheung comments, "Mobile phones provide multiple forms of interaction and functions – quite fitting for the spontaneous lifestyles of youth."
Entertainment is Key
"Listening to music, playing games and taking photos are just some of the activities that youth turn to their mobile phone to offer. Among Asian youth who own a mobile phone, about half perform the above activities on their mobile. One in five (21%) also uses this device to record video.
Top groups regionally which show exceptional online activities through mobile are youth in China and Singapore. They are the top two markets where youth use their mobile to surf the Internet (44% China, 24% Singapore), send/ receive instant messages (34% China, 23% Singapore), and email (19% China, 16% Singapore)."
Synovate conducts this research annually and this year sampled 25,000+ youth across eleven different countries. The youngest participants, aged 8-14, were interviewed face to face while those aged 15-24 completed an online study. While the sample size is impressive, little information (actually, none) appears to be available about the research method. We must take these findings at face value, for now.
It would be nice if Synovate would be release a full report so that we can look at the research quality rather than merely participating in the PR exercise. It's a bit ironic to be talking about the latest research around youth and technology, and have none of the resources available via a social media press release and better disclosure of research methods.
Friendster, who was also a sponsor of the recent Asian Bloggers and Social Media Conference in KL, was a sponsor of this research.