SEOUL, July 8 (Korea Bizwire) – Nearly 4 in 5 people in South Korea own a smartphone, making it the country with the fourth-highest smartphone penetration rate in the world, industry data showed Wednesday.
Asia’s fourth-largest economy saw its smartphone penetration rate reach 83 percent as of end-March, according to the data compiled by Digieco, a research center run by South Korea’s mobile carrier KT.
The United Arab Emirates topped the list with 90.8 percent, trailed by Singapore with 87.7 percent and Saudi Arabia with 86.1 percent.
Of the 56 countries surveyed, the average smartphone penetration rate stood at 60 percent, the data also showed.
Sweden, Spain and Hong Kong followed with 82.8 percent, 79.6 percent and 78.9 percent, respectively. Norway, Taiwan and Australia rounded out the top 10.
In terms of growth, however, Thailand topped the list with a 23.7 percentage point gain, reaching 63.7 percent. Other emerging markets, such as Brazil, Malaysia and Vietnam, also posted sharp growth of between 15 and 20 percentage points.
South Korea, in contrast, posted a 3.5 percentage point on-year growth, the data showed.
The country’s smartphone market is dominated by homegrown giant Samsung Electronics at 63.4 percent as of end-June, trailed by LG Electronics with 20.9 percent and Apple with 13.1 percent, according to the data compiled earlier by the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning.