The information technology (IT) industry will continue to grow at an average of 8 percent per year because electronic gadgets have become an important part of the daily life of millions of Indonesians.

Demand for gadgets continues to rise, especially given that Indonesians switch their gadgets every two years on average, spurring growth in the domestic IT industry, according to the Indonesian Computer Entrepreneurs Association (APKOMINDO).

Around 160 million Indonesians have at least one cell phone, which the association said had now become an integral part of everyday life. Time spent on mobile devices averages 3.5 hours per day, higher than the 1.9 hours per day in the US, according to a recent McKinsey and Company report.

“If you look at the sales of laptops and desktops, it is far more insignificant when you compare it to gadget sales. Gadgets are in a situation where their stagnation is still far off because of their relevance to society,” APKOMINDO’s founder Chris Iwan Japari said on Wednesday at the opening of the BRI Indocomtech Festival, dubbed Indonesia’s largest IT exhibition.

APKOMINDO’s secretary-general Rudy D. Muliadi noted that the rise of software and application development had also pushed the IT industry to grow at a faster clip.

“Gadgets such as smartphones are also driving dynamic growth. It is also partly due to stiff competition that the companies are facing against one another. They all want to attract Indonesia’s increasingly digitally savvy population,” he added.