Best of Mobile & Services: Tech Awards 2023 Readers' Choice series
Best of Mobile and Services
Tech Awards 2023 Readers' Choice Results - Part 3
Continuing our Tech Awards 2023 Readers' Choice series, here are the results for the Best of Mobile and Services categories. As a quick recap, the Readers' Choice awards are given to the best technology brands and services in Singapore as voted by thousands of our readers through an annual poll.
Here is Part 3 (of 4) and covers 8 out of the total 46 Readers' Choice award categories that make up the Best of Mobile and Services. Historically speaking, this is also the most exciting segment for our readers since it involves gadgets and services that are used almost every minute of the day. So dig in.
Don't forget to check out the other parts of our Readers' Choice Awards series: Best of Computing, Best of Gaming, Best of Consumer Electronics. If you want to know which are the best products of the year, spend some time with our Editor's Choice series of articles too.
Best Smartphone Brand - Apple
46% of you voted for Apple as your Best Smartphone Brand this year. However, Apple’s share has dipped by 8% over last year’s 54%. In the second place, Samsung managed to increase its vote share from 25% in 2022, to 28% this year. The rest of the chart appears pretty par for the course, except that ASUS has managed to sneak back into the rankings with a 4% slice of the pie. This puts them in the same ranking as Google, Xiaomi and Oppo. Even Huawei continues to hold onto 5% of the votes despite their difficulties, putting them technically in third place. Apple needs to shake things up, as generational improvements between models have become less compelling, especially the iPhone 14. On the other hand, Samsung’s push for foldable form factors is beginning to bear fruit, while fringe devices like the gaming-centric ROG Phone from ASUS does seem to have a following.
Best Tablet Brand - Apple
We’re seeing a similar trend in the Best Tablet Brand category like for Best Smartphone Brand. While Apple retains the crown with a commanding margin of 58%, it still represents a significant dip in votes compared to last year’s 69%. And 11% is something to take note of. There is no doubt that the iPad is the most robust and powerful tablet there is. It might even be too powerful for its own good, hobbled by iPadOS. As we reintroduced this category, we noted that Android tablets have been coming out of the woodwork. One year on, the tablet scene is definitely more vibrant, especially with rumours of a Samsung foldable Galaxy Tab coming this year.
Best Telco Service Provider (Singapore) - Singtel
Singtel continues to be the crowd favourite for Best Telco Service Provider in Singapore - 14 years in a row. It has been clear that they’ve made the most progress in 2022 to deliver 5G islandwide, and have been recognised even beyond our borders. They were the first telco to launch 5G SA network in Singapore and boasts as being the first nation in the world to achieve full nationwide 5G coverage, even underground in trains. They were awarded fastest 5G network in South East Asia by Opensignal, and most recently named 6th strongest telecoms brand in the world in Brand Finance’s Telecoms 150 list. However, that doesn’t mean Singtel can rest on its laurels, because StarHub is hot on its tails. Our polls show just a 7% difference in votes. M1’s results have remained similar to previous years, while Simba increased its share of voice.
Still, kudos to Singtel for maintaining this undefeated streak of bagging Singapore's most favourite telco service provider win. To delve deeper into what else contributed to their win and where the service provider is focused, we have a separate story here.
Best MVNO Service Provider (Singapore) - MyRepublic
Ever since we split the telco category between full telcos and digital MVNOs, MyRepublic has been growing its vote share by almost 10% year-on-year. In 2021, MyRepublic captured 33% of all votes, closely followed by Circles.Life with 30%. By 2022, MyRepublic widened its lead with 46%, and this year’s polls show MyRepublic surpassing the 50% mark to be a clear winner for the Best MVNO Service Provider award.
MyRepublic has always offered the most competitive plans with the latest technologies, such as having one of the best per-GB 5G SA plans, with high data caps, SIM and eSIM activation, plus perks like bundled roaming data. It clearly is working out for them. Circles.Life continues to stay strong in second place with 28% of the votes. They launched some interesting products in 2022 as well, such as JetPac, a flat rate global eSIM roaming data plan with travel vouchers and lounge access perks. It’s even open to all users, not just Circles.Life customers.
Best Fibre Broadband Service Provider (Singapore) - MyRepublic
Probably the biggest surprise of this year’s Tech Awards Readers’ Choice polls. MyRepublic has managed to dethrone Singtel to win the Best Fibre Broadband Service Provider award with a massive double-digit lead. MyRepublic and Singtel have essentially swapped places compared to last year’s results. Not only that, StarHub has also snatched second place and is ahead of Singtel by 1%.
While we usually do not see sentiment shifts of this size for a stable category like fixed broadband, there was a major development in 2022 worth noting. StarHub completed their acquisition of a majority share in MyRepublic’s fibre broadband business. Perhaps this could have driven up interest to sway the votes. Another way to interpret the results is that StarHub is actually the big winner here, commanding 63% of the vote share when you consider MyRepublic's share of voice that it now owns. That being said, both Singtel and StarHub have launched 10Gbps home fibre plans, so the fibre broadband space is getting competitive again.
Best Pay TV Service Provider (Singapore) - StarHub TV
StarHub wins this year’s Readers’ Choice Best Pay TV Service Provider award yet again, increasing their lead from last year to 57% of the overall votes. Still, with just two real choices, it’s down to the provider with the most perks. Throughout 2022, StarHub hasn’t just focused on beefing up its content choices and offerings, but also improving customer experience out of the box. For example, the new Starhub TV+ Pro set top box is an all-in-one entertainment system with powerful features like Dolby Atmos, Dolby Vision, and audio tuning by Bang & Olufsen.
Best Video Streaming Service Provider (Singapore) - Netflix
For the third year in a row, Netflix’s reign as Best Video Streaming Service Provider is eroding by around 10% of the votes. In 2021, Netflix had 78% of the pie. In 2022, it dropped to 67%, with Disney+ making their entrance and capturing 9% of the vote shares immediately. And as you can see from the 2023 results, Netflix has dropped yet again to 58%. They are still our winners, but no longer a monopoly for video streaming. Interestingly, when we thought Disney+ would pose a significant threat to Netflix hasn’t been the case, as they’ve barely moved the needle in a year with 10% of the votes. Instead, more players in the market are chipping away at Netflix’s share. YouTube Originals have grown, StarHub TV has grown, while HBO Go, Viu and iQiyi now have enough votes to break away from the “Others" category to stand independently.
Best Audio Streaming Service Provider (Singapore) - Spotify
And here’s an update to the new category introduced in last year’s Tech Awards, which is always exciting because we get to see if the analysis and predictions we made last year are accurate enough. The Best Audio Streaming Service Provider goes to Spotify, with 60% of the overall votes. Spotify is still the easiest service to access, with the widest compatibility with most devices, mobile and home entertainment alike. What you might find interesting about this year’s results is that Apple Music did not make significant inroads, probably because any improvements like losssless audio is still only limited to Apple’s existing ecosystem of users. It hasn’t brought in new users because of these features. On the other hand, YouTube Music’s vote share grew by 11%, and a chunk of it came from Spotify.
That wraps up the Readers' Choice voting for the Best of Mobile & Services segment, but don't forget to check out the results in other categories too:-
Lastly, don't forget that we've also published our Editor's Choice results here to help you get the best of the best gear.