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Big, or Bigger: Southeast Asia’s Tech Economy in 2025

Google and Temasek have been taking a crack at estimating and predicting the size of Southeast Asia’s ecommerce economy for the past four years, starting in 2016 (yes, I know that’s three years but they’ve put out four reports, the latest this week, so there.)  I’ve not had a close look at this report, there’s obviously some good stuff in there, and it’s easy to pick holes in this kind of thing, but it pays to be humble. I’ve done my own chart, below, taken the data from each report about their predictions for 2025, and how they’ve changed over time. The four left columnsContinue readingBig, or Bigger: Southeast Asia’s Tech Economy in 2025

Innovative Complacency or the Wisdom of the Deceived?

  This is where I see a real problem for developed Asia: a complacency and disinterest in the role of technology and innovation. Or is it the clarity of vision from too much innovation? In a survey conducted by IDC on behalf of Avaya (no link available, you need to sign up to get a copy), key IT decision makers from developed Asian countries (leaving aside Australia for now) were much more likely to downplay the role of innovation in driving business. Singapore came lowest with 14% of respondents believing the statement “innovation is extremely important to drive business.” Compare that to around 40% inContinue readingInnovative Complacency or the Wisdom of the Deceived?

Tweetwars: the social challenge in Twitter ‘capital’, Indonesia

My effort to take a closer look at Twitter’s capital.  Tweetwars: the social challenge in Twitter ‘capital’, Indonesia | Reuters: BY JEREMY WAGSTAFF Indonesia has long been the Twitter capital of the world, but rival apps and rancorous political debate are driving users away, illustrating the challenges the microblogging service faces even in markets once considered strongholds. While Twitter doesn’t break down country figures, Global Web Index data shows Indonesia remains joint first with Mexico in active users among the 34 countries the UK-based metrics company monitors – and significantly ahead in terms of penetration, at 74 percent of all Internet users. But that masksContinue readingTweetwars: the social challenge in Twitter ‘capital’, Indonesia

Facebook can’t take Asian growth for granted

A piece I wrote ahead of Facebook’s IPO, casting a skeptical eye over assumptions that Asia would continue to be a source of major growth for the company. Even as Facebook fever grips investors ahead of the social networking giant’s potential $100 billion-plus initial public offering, its breakneck growth in Asia may be slowing as it moves beyond desktop users to those who access the Internet largely or solely from a mobile phone. In March, Facebook revised its own SEC filings to scale back its scope for further growth in India – its third-biggest user base and the largest population it currently has access toContinue readingFacebook can’t take Asian growth for granted

Blackberry’s Future [BBC]

In some ways our world all looks very similar. Prefab coffee and fast food chains, Cars that all look the same. Everyone on Facebook. But what we–and by we I include the people who actually produce and sell these goods and services–don’t do a good job of is understanding while the global products may be similar, how they’re actually used can be very different.  In short: Just because your fancy product is doing well in country X, do you actually know why?  This, it turns out, is kind of important. Because if you don’t understand that, chances are you won’t know how to keep theContinue readingBlackberry’s Future [BBC]

In Asia, BlackBerry’s RIM sees a glimmer of hope

A piece I wrote from Jakarta on RIM’s efforts to expand in those emerging markets where it had already done well:  (Reuters) – The launch in India of a new BlackBerry by Research In Motion Ltd is not just a nod to its lower-end users who love it less for its security, push email and seamless roaming than for its simplicity and its Messaging. It’s a strategy the Canadian company hopes will help fill both a hole in its balance sheet and a half-year wait for its next big thing — the BlackBerry 10 platform. But will it work? The handset itself won’t impress devotees:Continue readingIn Asia, BlackBerry’s RIM sees a glimmer of hope

Facebook’s daunting Asian challenge

Here’s a piece I pulled together with the help of Reuters reporters Andjarsari Paramaditha, Camilo Mejia and Estelle Griepink in JAKARTA, Harichandan Arakali in BANGALORE, Lee Chyen Yee in HONG KONG, Kazunori Takada in SHANGHAI and Harry Suhartono in SINGAPORE. Facebook aims to connect all two billion Internet users. So far it has captured 845 million of them. Of the rest, nearly 60 percent live in Asia and hooking them is going to be a daunting challenge. A block on access in China, court cases in India and rivalry from other services elsewhere in the region stand between Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook and more than 700Continue readingFacebook’s daunting Asian challenge

The Real Revolution

This is also a podcast, from my weekly BBC piece.  While folks at the annual tech show in Vegas are getting all excited about a glass-encased laptop, the world’s thinnest 55″ TV and a washing machine you can control from your phone, they may be forgiven for missing the quiet sound of a milestone being crossed: there are now more smartphones in the world than there are ordinary phones. According to New York-based ABI Research, 3G and 4G handsets now account for more than half of the total mobile phone market. Those old ‘dumb phones’ and the so-called feature phones–poor relations to the computer-type iPhoneContinue readingThe Real Revolution

Southeast Asia’s Third Mobile Tier

The mobile revolution is moving from second tier countries in Southeast Asia to the third and final tier. Whereas previously Indonesia and the Philippines were seeing the biggest growth in mobile Internet traffic, now it’s Burma (Myanmar) and Cambodia which top the list in terms of user- and usage-growth, according to the Opera State of the Mobile Web report for July: Myanmar and Cambodia lead the top 10 countries of the region in terms of page-view growth (6415.0 % and 470.1 %, respectively). Myanmar and Cambodia lead the top 10 countries of the region in growth of unique users (1207.5 % and 179.1 %, respectively).Continue readingSoutheast Asia’s Third Mobile Tier

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