One habit from living in North America is that you tend to assume that everything happening of relevance, at least from a technology position, originates on this side of the planet. When you reflect that companies such as Facebook, Google, Apple, Microsoft, Intel and so on all originated in America, you can see why it's easy to conclude that The United States has provided more than their fair share of meaningful inventions.
Tonight's newsletter opener looks beyond North America to see what's going on elsewhere in the world and more precisely the Asia-Pacific region. Here are some fun facts that were shared by GfK at the recent IFA press conference in Rome:
Nearly 60% of the world's population or 4.5 billion people reside in Asia-Pacific. The region houses five out of the 10 world's fastest growing economies and four of the top 10 current largest economies (China, Japan, India and the grouped ASEAN nations). The region is home to half of all Internet users, and four of the top 10 Smartphone adoption markets and seven of the top 10 Global Smartphone brands are all from Asia. (Don't feel that you are alone thinking that Apple and Samsung are the only Smartphone manufacturers!).
By 2030 two-thirds of the Global middle class will be living in Asia-Pacific. This emerging middle class generates disposable spending and the use of a Smartphone is their number one tool to influence their buying habits. A recent GfK survey that asked what technology is used for research and purchasing decisions, the global average of 59% said their Smartphone helped them shop. In China, the number jumps to 90%. Europe is the lowest at 44%. In China, 85% of Gen Z shop with their phone, 77% of Gen X-ers and staggeringly 69% of Boomers use their Smartphone to shop (that's an 11% increase for Boomers when GfK asked the same question in 2014).
In the key eight Asia-Pacific markets, online sales in 2017 for consumer technology surpassed US$46 billion in sales (online sales only). Of that, US$31 billion related to the Smartphone market. Flat Panel TV secured US$7 billion in sales while major appliances accumulated US$8 billion in online sales. In the first half of 2017, 45 million wearables were sold in Asia-Pacific (smart watches, fitness trackers and geo locators). That's a 22% year-over-year growth.
If you are in the wireless headphone business and Asia-Pacific is your sales territory, you'll be buying the drinks at the bar for the foreseeable future; wireless headsets grew 64% year-over-year in 2017 to over 15 million sold with true wireless headphones growing by over 1,200%. 4K TV is anticipated to be a US$29 billion business by the end of the year with 45 million expected units sold. (16 million units sold in 2015 in Asia-Pacific).
The take-away from the GfK presentation was that Asia-Pacific is quickly becoming the world's growth engine with Asians spending more and more on technology driven by a rising middle class. My take-away to my budding entrepreneurial daughters, is to try to build your company in sunny California but make sure that as soon as you can, open an office in Shanghai or Mumbai.
As always many thanks for reading. We have a ton of great stories below plus several new job postings.