One of the most precise indicators of progress in Cambodia is the degree of ownership of telephones – and the percentage of those that are smartphones. No data in this crazy dis-aggregated market can surpass that of a well conducted market research study – and the report compiled for the Asia Foundation Mobile Phones & Internet in Cambodia 2015 is a great thorough study that surprised me in a couple of areas. The main points:
- Mobile phone ownership has basically reached saturation. 99% of adults 18-65 own a mobile.
- The market is dominated by low-end budget phones as well as by showy high-end phones that convey status, while mid range phones under-perform in this market.
- Smart phones have doubled in share from 20% of all phones in 2013 to 40% by the end of 2015.
- Khmer enabled phones are now dominant. They made up 30% of phones in 2013 but now account for 63% of Cambodian phones.
The Khmerisation of mobile – which was technically enabled just a decade ago, has a profound effect potentially. Instead of adapting around English for texting or for online behaviour, Cambodians can do it in their mother language.
I wonder if this simple fact will dampen the seemingly universal desire among young people to learn English. What do you think?
I hope you find this blog useful and interesting. Let us know if there is any Cambodian topic you’d like to see covered.