Asia is projected to generate major revenue for mobile learning of throughout 2014-2019, with $4.5 billion of revenue in 2014 and surging to $7.7 billion by 2019. These are the projections from the 2015 Ambient Insight report, The 2014-2019 Asia Mobile Learning Market. “Asia is the most vibrant and unique mobile learning market on the planet,” writes Ambient Chief Researcher Sam S. Adkins. 

Ambient attributes the substantial growth to consumers driving the market, particularly since Asia is a so-called mobile-first region. In fact, mobile penetration rates are overwhelmingly higher than PC penetration rates in 16 of the 21 Asian countries analyzed by Ambient. This data concurs with Ericsson's January 2015 Mobility Report, which estimates that more than 90 percent of mobile subscribers across the globe will be using wireless broadband by 2020, and 50 percent of them will be in Asia. 

“Asia is unique in many ways,” writes Adkins, “particularly the distinctive app ecosystems and the relatively unusual distribution channels.” He explains that the telecom equipment makers, mobile network operators (MNOs), and device makers often dominate the competitive landscape in this region. This is only found in a few countries outside of Asia, but it is found in every country in Asia. 

Asia is also unique in the proliferation of native m-learning tools and platforms. According to Adkins,  “While most of the legacy e-learning tools and platforms can now output mobile-ready content, users in Asia prefer native mobile learning products.” What’s more, Ambient research finds that new tools continue to come on the market. 

A new report on m-learning from Skillsoft, The State of Mobile Learning in Asia Pacific, also indicates strong growth for m-learning in Asia Pacific (APAC), with two-thirds of decision makers having already adopted or having plans to adopt m-learning. These stats are based on a regional study of 545 decision makers (individuals who manage a budget within an organization for human resources or L&D) and learners (individuals who do not manage human resources or Learning & Development budgets and receive training in any form) across 16 countries and territories in APAC. 

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"With the uptake of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) in 72 percent of organizations in the region, there is an enormous opportunity to adapt, shape and align m-learning programs to learners' needs and organizational goals," says Glenn Nott, vice president and general manager of Asia Pacific operations for Skillsoft. 

Respondents to the Skillsoft study who currently have access to m-learning believe that the benefits outweigh the costs. The top benefit cited by more than three-quarters of both decision makers and learners was an improvement in efficiency at both the organizational and personal level. “Investments in m-learning proved to yield tangible returns, with improvement in business results ranked as the second most common organizational benefit after adopting m-learning,” claims Skillsoft in a written statement. 

Indeed, the Skillsoft report indicates that out of all the respondents who have access to m-learning, more than half (57 percent) believe that m-learning makes learning resources more accessible, and 46 percent of respondents believe that m-learning is a good mechanism to infuse learning into employees' daily workflow.

The Skillsoft findings demonstrate how organizations in the APAC region have the opportunity to transform the way they deliver training and development through content, formats, and session lengths that resonates with and engages their learners, resulting in a greater return on investment and proves that organizations that leverage mobile learning successfully achieve greater employee and organizational effectiveness and business impact.