The percentage of Vietnamese people using smartphones has increased to more than 36 percent, nearly double the rate of 20 percent in 2013.

Meanwhile, the popularity of desktop PCs has risen by nearly five percent, accounting for 44 percent of the population. About 24 percent access the Internet on their smartphones.

The results are part of a recent Google-backed study, entitled Global Connected Consumer Study 2014, carried out by TNS market research company. The study was done in the first half of 2014 and covered 1,000 respondents over the age of 16 in 56 countries, including Vietnam.

The study says that Vietnamese Internet users spend most of their time online watching videos. At 85 percent, Vietnam is placed third in a list of countries registering the highest viewership of online videos, behind Saudi Arabia (97 percent) and China (92 percent). Of the surveyed people, 75 percent watch online videos on their smartphones.

Young people in the 16 to 24 age group comprise the largest segment of new smartphone users, posting a two-fold increase over last year, from 27 percent to 58 percent. Although the number of people using smartphones in the other age groups also rose, the youth take the initiative of approaching new technology and accessing the Internet the most.

The statistics also show that Vietnamese consumers trust the information available on the Internet, which may influence their purchase decisions. For news, most Vietnamese people prefer to access online newspapers, news aggregation sites, social networks and blogs.

As many as 93 percent of the surveyed people search for information on the Internet; 69 percent often seek online information on products; 42 percent compare prices online and 28 percent purchase products online. This is a positive sign not only for the e-commerce industry but also for brand popularisation of enterprises.

According to the study, 25 percent of the Vietnamese users own two mobile devices such as laptops, smartphones or tablets. Seventy-six percent prefer smartphones to access the Internet; 59 percent prefer laptops, while 61 percent opt for tablets.

The smartphone is also an important device for people when they go abroad, with 48 percent of the respondents opting for it, over 31 percent who take their tablets.

The second-screen trend, which is common in developed countries, has reached Vietnam. When people watch TV, they often use other devices such as smartphones or tablets to connect to the Internet to search for information about programmes they are watching or to leave comments on social networks.-VNA