The Gooibiz blog recently spent time in Taiwan doing a video shoot for a soon-to-be-announced product (watch this space). When I was able to drag myself away from the delicious dumplings, I couldn’t help noticing the proliferation of smart phones and mobile advertising in the capital, Taipei. Compared to Japan, where I’m based, smartphone penetration appears to be reaching the same level at least in Taipei.
It’s hardly surprising that so many people here have cell phones given that Taiwanese manufacturers are on course to ship 21.95 million handsets in 3Q14 to companies such as Sony, Apple and Microsoft.
Gooi businesses need to pay attention to Taiwan. Let’s look at the specific market conditions in Taiwan that offer you real opportunity:
- Taiwan has a vibrant media landscape. There are seven, yes SEVEN, 24 hour news networks serving a population of 23 million, which is more than Japan and the UK. With 80 percent of the population cable TV customers there is no shortage of advertising space or audience. TV is still the dominant media in Taiwan.
- However, smart phones are starting to catch up with cheap domestic manufacturers helping to bring down prices. Nearly 60% of the population over 12 owned a smartphone, up almost 10% from last year. The biggest growth group being those over 50. This development means that Taiwan is on the verge of breaking into the top ten of countries with the highest levels of smartphone penetration compared to their 19th place in 2013.
- Mobile commerce is becoming increasingly popular. While Taiwan lags behind more established countries like Japan, where almost 90% of consumers had bought something using their mobile device in the past month, or Korea, 67%, almost 30% of Taiwanese consumers engage in mcommerce with numbers expected to continue rising.
Where’s the Goo?
So what does this all mean? Taiwan is an interesting market for small app developers and marketers. The mobile market is growing at a rapid rate and the market isn’t crowded by sophisticated players like in Japan and Korea. Taipei’s burgeoning market is an opportunity to expand to Asia that mobile businesses should not ignore
East Asia is a fascinating area for studying the mobile market with many Asian countries having the highest smartphone and mcommerce penetration rates, a subject will we cover in the next profile where we will be taking an in-depth look at Japan.