Google is anything but the dominant force in Asia, where local search engine Baidu is number one. Also, Asia, the world’s largest and most populous continent with the population of 3.88 billion people, is just beginning to discover Android, but the continent is poised to become the next gold mine for Google as smartphones become more affordable to the mass consumer. One exemption that proves the rule: Korea, a poster child for the latest tech.

People wield the latest gadgets there and use them more often and in ways that put to shame their counterparts from the Western world. Google’s mobile ad team went out into the streets of Seoul to ask smartphone users how they use their devices. The professionally produced footage is, of course, yet another showcase of the numerous ongoing marketing activities meant to convince people to stay under the Google fold.

In this case, Google wants potential advertisers to place adverts on web sites and inject them inside mobile apps using their technology. By the way, notice a bunch of Galaxy S phones everywhere (to our Apple readers: iPhone 4 spotting on mark 1:15).

But who could blame the Internet’s #1 search company for promoting the use of smartphones? With a whopping 97 percent of Google’s revenues coming from advertising, no wonder they did not spare any expense producing this testimonial. Still, worth your time so sit back, relax and enjoy the three and a half minute ride. Also, go past the fold for interesting takeaways from a Google survey in collaboration with Ipsos of over a thousand South Korean smartphone users…

• 100 percent of South Koreans have a mobile phone, 27 percent of them smartphones. This smartphone penetration is higher than countries such as Germany, Italy, Taiwan and Russia, and comparable to the U.S., France, and the UK

• 85 percent of smartphone users report that this is their first smartphone, one of the highest proportions of any country in the world that we studied

• South Korean smartphone users report an average of 42 apps downloaded on their phone, the second highest # of any country for which we currently have results

• 72 percent are using search on their smartphones on a daily basis, one of the top 3 countries out of the 30 we studied

• Koreans are more likely to say they’ve used their smartphone at home (98%) than on the go (90%) or at work (79%) showing that the smartphone is a primary, not just supplementary, gateway to the Internet

About the Author