Mobile Internet and social media in Malaysia

Mobile Internet and social media in Malaysia

Malaysians are well versed in the use of mobile devices, Internet and social media, with high Internet and mobile penetration, and proficiency with social media. Among the leaders in Southeast Asia both in terms of volume and intensity of use, Malaysia has a strong potential to develop activities and business online.

Through an overview of Internet, social media and mobile users, here are the latest numbers of the digital landscape in Malaysia.

Numbers of Internet, social media and mobile users in Malaysia in January 2017

Going into finer details, this presentation dives into the detailed habits that make Malaysians part of the leading users of Internet and mobile in Southeast Asia and the world.

Key points on mobile, Internet and social media in Malaysia

The figures presented here are as of January 2014.

  • Internet penetration is 66% in the Malaysian total population of 29 million. As Malaysians are in the upper middle income category, this percentage corresponds to 19 million, quite affluent, Internet and mobile savvy users.
  • Mobile penetration is very high at 140% (1.4 phone per person), higher than the US and Indonesia. Smartphones are the main category of devices used by Malaysians to connect to the Internet.
  • Though feature phones are still predominant, Malaysians buy primarily smartphones. They also change their phones quite often with an average renewal period of 21 months.
  • In terms of smartphone operating systems, Android dominates 65% of the market, before iOS and Windows (13% each), and Blackberry (9%).
  • Three companies share the carriers market: Celcom (37.8%) Maxis (33.3%) and Digi (28.9%). 4G is quite well spread in Malaysia.
  • The average number hours spent on Internet on mobile devices by Malaysians is the highest of Southeast Asia with 3.1 hours/day/user.
  • 79% of mobile owners use it for social media. Facebook is the leading social network with 18 million users, then come Google+, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. They also have a larger average number of friends per profile compared to other countries.
  • 90% of mobile users use it for entertainment: video (80%), music, games (74%).
  • Malaysians can be influenced by social media before making purchase decisions.
  • 91% of Malaysians shop online, with total sales of 380 Million USD in 2013. Yet only 0.3% of online transactions are made on mobile; this is due to the popularity of other methods, lack of infrastructures and low awareness.

These dynamic numbers and trends enable both entrepreneurs, governement and investors to have ambitious perspective to develop online business in Malaysia.

Presentation from February 2014 by On Device Research

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