Half of Singaporeans can’t live a day without their mobile phones – and only 3% are willing to give them up permanently

Almost half of Singaporeans are not willing to give up using their mobile phones for even a day.
The Straits Times

Mobile phones have become such an inextricable part of Singaporeans’ lives that nearly one in two cannot bear to go 24 hours without it, a study has revealed.

According to edge cloud services provider Limelight Networks’ State of Digital Lifestyles report released on Wednesday (July 31), almost half (49 per cent) of Singapore consumers are not willing to forgo using their mobile phone for a day.

Only 3 per cent would give their devices up permanently.

How long would you be able to stop using your mobile phone?
Limelight Networks

The study was conducted in nine countries – Singapore, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, South Korea, the UK and the US – with 4,500 consumers aged 18 and older who had downloaded software or streamed online video or music.

The company reported that roughly one in four (24 per cent) of the 500 Singapore consumers surveyed currently own a smart home assistant – a 65 per cent increase from last year.

Although the adoption of such devices like the Amazon Alexa and Google Home seems to be on the rise, Singaporeans are nowhere near as reliant on them in comparison to mobile phones.

Most users of smart home assistants (63 per cent) were found to be willing to give them up for a week or more, Limelight Networks said.

Limelight Networks also noted in its report that digital devices are playing a larger role in the daily activities of Singapore consumers who “overwhelmingly agree” that digital technology has positively impacted their lives.

A majority (78 per cent) of Singaporeans indicated that online digital technology has improved their lives, of which 36 per cent said the positive impact on them was “significant”.

How has the growing influence of online digital technology impacted your life?
Limelight Networks

Singaporeans prefer streaming

Streaming was the most common way Singapore respondents accessed and consumed digital media, the report said.

For instance, 47 per cent of respondents said they preferred streaming music online to downloading it.

In the case of movies and TV shows, more than half (60 per cent) said they would choose streaming over downloading or purchasing physical copies. The same goes for reading material, whereby 62 per cent would rather download e-books than buy physical books.

Read also: ‘Ultra reliable’ 5G is coming to Singapore next year – here’s what to expect

Concerns over performance and privacy

Even with the rising adoption of digital devices among Singaporeans, most still express frustration with sub-par performance when it comes to consuming digital content, Limelight Networks said.

Nearly all (93 per cent) Singapore consumers surveyed said they felt annoyed when digital content takes too long to load, is disrupted by errors or stops playing.

However, with the possible future roll out of 5G networks in the country, a majority (81 per cent) of Singaporeans said they are hopeful that it will bring about faster download speeds. This was higher than the global average of 72 per cent.

What are your expectations for 5G wireless networking?
Limelight Networks

Read also: Singaporeans worried that 5G radiation will be harmful to people’s health

Privacy concerns about data collected by digital devices such as smart home assistants also remain an issue among Singapore consumers, with 56.2 per cent expressing heightened worry about personal information being stolen.

How have your concerns about online security changed in the last year?
Limelight Networks

Senior director for Southeast Asia and India at Limelight Networks, Jaheer Abbas, said that performance expectations have risen due to consumers’ demand for secure and high-quality digital experiences on their internet-connected devices.

“To keep loyal customers, grow market share and ultimately maximise revenue opportunities, digital content providers must ensure that their content distribution platforms utilise a secure infrastructure that safeguards customer data while delivering a consistently fast and reliable user experience,” he added.

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