After not being home in Singapore/Malaysia for the past 4 years, it is interesting to see the developments in both countries. I have been traveling around to observe people and my surroundings in order to learn about opportunities in both countries.
One common trend, which is very apparent, is the culture shift towards smart phones, especially iPhones. Yes, this seen throughout the world but developed countries such as the Korea and Japan has gone through this phase faster than everyone else. The innovative & sleek design in phones in Korea & Japan are more advanced than those in a lot of countries.
Now, focusing on Singapore.
In looking at the statistics above, Singapore has the highest percentage of iPhone users in their population. This trend is going to continue increasing, with two year plans like the United States which offers cheaper initial cost to purchase an iPhone, more and more users own iPhones.
With iPhone comes mobile applications. It can be used and downloaded throughout the world but a popular app in the US might not be popular in Singapore. What if there is a service that looks at feedback from specific countries and help developers alter their mobile application to fit that specific country?
For example, augment reality geotagging is gaining popularity. If there is an app that allows people to tag restaurants in the US , hence identifying good restaurants by moving their phones, this might work well with Yelp. When introduced in the US, it will not be very popular in Singapore yet because they have not tapped into the Singapore market upon releasing their app. This is an opportunity. If there is a service that is willing to take on this project and focus on their specific community and create a buzz, this trend might catch on if they customize the app to suit the culture in Singapore. Some changes would be to blend Singlish (Singaporean English), providing points for the highest ranked “geotagger” to redeem rewards in Singapore, utilizing local advertising medium, etc.
All in all, adaptation is a huge thing. Yes, countries in Asia respect Western countries and would love to catch on trends in those countries BUT the bottom line is: Not all apps that is successful in the US will gain popularity elsewhere.