Most Singaporeans are unable to spend a day without their mobile phones – but that’s not what is worrying them right now

Most Singaporeans are apparently unable to survive a day without their mobile devices.
Reuters

Parting with mobile phones – even for a mere 24 hours – seems like an impossibility for most Singaporean consumers as research reveals an increasing dependence on digital devices.

According to digital content delivery company Limelight Networks’ “State of Digital Lifestyles” report, with the heightened dependence on internet-connected devices, 83% of respondents have experienced positive impacts on their lives thanks to digital technology.

The report is based on responses from 5,000 consumers in France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, the UK and the US. Respondents were at least 18 years of age and had downloaded software or streamed online video or music during the last month.

When asked how long they could go without their favourite digital devices, more than half (58%) of Singaporean consumers said they would not be able to do so for even one day, compared with 48% of global consumers who reported the same.

More than a third (36%) of Singaporean respondents also reported being unable to spend a day without their desktop computers and laptops – the second most integral technology.

However, it’s a different story for digital assistants such as Amazon Echo and Google Home.

In Singapore, only 14% currently own one of the devices, markedly below the global average of 19%.

Limelight Networks observed that the main hindrance to the adoption of these devices is the lack of trust as only 35% of Singaporean consumers fully trust digital assistants to provide general information such as the weather, news and research.

Fewer consumers trust digital assistants for more specific tasks like online shopping (28%) and home automation (24%).

With greater dependence on technology comes greater worry with regards to security which topped the list of concerns for Singaporeans when using internet-connected devices.

Globally, Singaporeans expressed the most concern over possible hacking into digital assistants (51%), security devices (51%), home automation products (42%) as well as health and fitness trackers (30%).

On a lighter note, as entertainment shifts towards digital platforms, streaming has become the preferred method of accessing multimedia content.

In Singapore, 48% prefer to stream music while a majority (64%) of consumers would rather stream movies and television shows than download them or use DVDs – more than any other Asian country.

Nonetheless, they were found to be the least likely to pay to download or stream online content as compared to the rest of the world. While consumers in South Korea, the UK and Germany were observed as the most willing to pay for content, Singapore and Malaysia consumers were the least likely to fork out the money.

Even if they do pay for digital content, Singaporeans are more likely to pay for movies and TV shows (38%) than any other type of content.

“Consumers have become increasingly dependent on digital technology in both their personal and professional lives for information, entertainment, and for greater convenience in their lives,” said Jaheer Abbas, Limelight Networks’ regional director for Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand.

“But as consumers get access to more options and become more reliant on the information they get from these devices, expectations continue to rise.”