S Korea grappling with smartphone addiction; smartphone penetration rate in South Korea was 64 per cent in 2012, a 60-fold-leap compared with 2009, when smartphone users accounted for less than one per cent of all mobile phone users

S Korea grappling with smartphone addiction
By Lim Yun Suk | Posted: 26 February 2013 1613 hrs

SEOUL: South Korea has more than 30 million mobile phone users. The devices have become a vital part of everyday life in the country.

But owning mobile phones also come with disadvantages. Children and adults cannot seem to get their hands off these devices.

Korean doctors are calling it an addiction.

“After church sometimes I want to play with my friends outside but all they want to do is play games on their mobiles. It’s no fun anymore,” said Han Ji Min, an elementary school student.

College student Chung Seung Yeon said: “I have many friends who use their handphones even while eating. And they do it like there’s nothing wrong with it. Because it has become so common, nobody thinks it’s serious to be using their handphones while eating.”Doctors are voicing their concerns with smartphone addiction.

Shin Dong Won, a doctor at Sunkyunkwan Hospital said: “Smartphone addiction has now become like any other addiction. Some have even said it’s like holding drugs in your hands. And personally, I think so too.”

In a report last year, the government said that about 2.6 million people were addicted to smartphones – and these were people who used the devices for more than eight hours a day.

Students say when they use their smartphones to play games, they use their phones for at least one hour each time.

Experts say it is important to educate children about smartphone usage.

Lee Chang Joon, official at Korea Telecom, said: “Many times, they are forced to stop using them. But if we teach the children the proper method of using them, then I think it will be easier for the children to understand.”

Meanwhile, smartphone maker Samsung Electronics recently announced its best-ever earnings for 2012.

Competition in the smartphone market will be keen this year, with more models available for consumers.

Song Jong Ho, analyst at KDB Daewoo Securities, said: “There will be more competition in the smartphone industry. Apart from the existing ones like Apple, there are others like Google which we must see as a competitor too. I think the low-cost ones like China’s Lenovo will also try to compete with us.”

The smartphone penetration rate in South Korea was 64 per cent in 2012, more than double from the previous year.

It is a 60-fold-leap compared with 2009, when smartphone users accounted for less than one per cent of all mobile phone users.

Experts say it is important that the government comes up with measures to help the addicted users – especially among the children.

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: