Currently, many Indonesians still do not use a mobile phone which is suitable for Internet use, and there are still considerable differences between urban and rural areas. In the big cities especially, a smartphone is the number one status symbol to have. Anyone who can afford it would buy one. In the countryside, the ability to receive LTE (4G) transmission has improved tremendously, and mobile penetration rates have reached more than 80 percent. However, due to a lack of economic opportunities, many living in rural areas simply cannot afford one. For the ones who do own a smartphone, communication apps, shopping apps as well as social media platforms seem to be popular, with penetration rates of about 92, 91 and 90 percent respectively.
Local telecom providers, as well as the producers of smartphones, stand to benefiting from this. As of November 2019, Samsung had the highest market share of all mobile vendors, with about 24.65 percent, followed by Xiaomi and Oppo, two smartphone producers from China. Since those three companies produce their devices based on the operating system Android, Google’s OS accounted for over 93 percent of the market share. When it comes to the mobile network, the market seems to be a lot more competitive. Telkomsel, Simtel, as well as XL were some of the biggest players, but with the expected growth, it could just be a matter of time until Hutchinson or Smartfren will catch up.