SINGAPORE: Marketers in Asia have been accused of being "behind the curve" when it comes to leveraging the power of mobile, and of failing to recognise the growth of mobile usage in the region.

Joanna Flint, the managing director of Google Singapore, told delegates at the annual Festival of Media Asia event that the next generation of consumers will only use their mobile devices to access the internet, Enterprise Innovation reported.

She cited a study that Google conducted at the end of last year, which found that more than a third (35%) of Malaysians only use their smartphones to access the internet. That compares with 11% of Americans and just 7% of Australians.

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Apart from China, mobile-only usage is also high in other Asian nations. In Singapore, for example, it stands at 16% while it is 14% in Hong Kong and South Korea.

Google's study advised that Asian consumers are living in a mobile-first world that "needs new products and services built with mobile in mind, not as an afterthought or nice-to-have".

"There's a great chance here for Asian businesses to lead the world in mobile-first innovation by reacting fast to the revolution that's happened on the streets right outside their office doors," it said.

Flint told the audience: "The next generation, no actually the next volume of consumers will be mobile-only. It will be the only way they access the internet because the price is so low."

Flint's comments come after a recent report predicted that mobile's share of internet traffic in the Asia-Pacific region will surpass that of PCs before the end of the year, as mobile connectivity becomes a part of more people's everyday lives.

Data sourced from Enterprise Innovation, Google Asia, Mumbrella; additional content Warc staff