South Koreans are spending almost a third of their media time using smartphones

South Koreans are spending more than a quarter of their media time using smartphones, according to new research from eMarketer.

According to the latest forecast, the research firm expects South Koreans to spend roughly 2 hours a day using their smartphones this year, accounting for 28.6% of their media time each day. Perhaps that’s not surprising given that the country’s smartphone penetration rate will be 74% in 2018.

Though back in 2017 this would have made South Korea the leader in mobile media time, it is now being taken over by China by less than 1%.

Nevertheless, South Korea has the highest share of daily mobile media time.

The latest data also suggests that the country’s smartphone usage will account for over 30% of total daily media time by 2019.

“We expect to see smartphone time rising further in the coming years as the telecom operators race to be the first in the world to deploy a 5G commercial rollout [expected in 2019],” said Chris Bendtsen, senior forecasting analyst at eMarketer. “In addition, while tech-savvy South Koreans are already high consumers of mobile news, this year’s Winter Olympics will further increase smartphone time.”

The rise in popularity in smartphones has been largely led by social media, mobile video and gaming as well as messaging apps.

Improved broadband speed and availability are also having an important influence on the rise in smartphone penetration.

Meanwhile, data by Vpon noted that mobile ad spending in South Korea was marked by a preference for in-app advertising.