In a new report, IDC drew on its own research and a brainstorming exercise among more than 1,000 of its analysts. It expected that the mobile market in the region would continue to experience strong growth in 2014, thanks to buoyant economies, a young population and lack of fixed infrastructure.
"We are in the midst of an amazing transformation," observed Charles Reed Anderson, Head of Telecoms & Mobility at IDC Asia Pacific, as he noted the huge growth in mobile commerce, with some vendors reporting 40% of all transactions through this channel.
"Companies that target these consumers need to adapt their business models to meet the changing user preferences or risk getting left behind," he said, adding that those achieving this could also "unearth new revenue streams by moving into adjacent markets and providing additional products and services to their customers".
Among IDC's predictions was the emergence of 'Customer First, Mobile First' strategies. It noted the example of Indonesia, where three times as many mobile devices are used to access the internet as PCs.
"Many companies are realising that for interacting with employees, partners or customers, mobility is the core strategy," said IDC in its report.
The report also identified a "Catch 22" situation which, it suggested, could lead to the development of new business models, as increased smartphone penetration drove increased traffic and consumption of digital content consumption, while low average revenue per customer held back telecoms operators from the necessary investment to increase network capacity.
IDC said a new way of thinking was required and suggested a three-way partnership between the operator, video content owner and device manufacturer to create a TV alternative in countries like China where more people were already watching online video content than broadcast TV.
Another aspect of mobility is the spread of wearable devices – watches, glasses – which will drive an "appcessory" market as developers find ways to extend their usability. They will do so by "leveraging the data they capture to drive mobile advertising and xCommerce opportunities as well as by developing vertical-specific industry solutions", said IDC.
Data sourced from IDC, additional content by Warc staff