Mobile phone sales in Asia-Pacific have surged and are on track to top conventional computer sales, a top Google executive said Wednesday. Aliza Knox, managing director of commerce for Google Asia Pacific, said smartphones and tablets were becoming the primary tool for individuals to access the Internet in the region, and that the Mountain View-based company is preparing to address that, Agence France-Presse reported. “Asia has an insatiable appetite for mobile,” the executive said during a forum at the CommunicAsia telecom fair in Singapore, adding that Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia and South Korea already have higher smartphone penetration rates than the United States.
It is estimated that by 2015, one in two people in the world using the Internet will be in Asia, and a person’s first online experience in the region will most likely be using a mobile device. “Asia is ahead, Asia is taking this up faster than other places,” Knox said. The executive highlighted how Google has hired 600 people in the region this year and invested $700 million to establish new data centers. Knox urged companies to follow the Internet giant’s lead and be ready for the surge in mobile usage in Asia.