Latin America is seeing insatiable demand for internet and smartphones among its population of 650 million. In fact, “smartphones have been instrumental in establishing Latin America as one of the world’s largest consumers of social media, with the vast majority of usage occurring over mobile networks,” reports GSMA Intelligence. In addition, some of the region’s lea-ding markets are among the highest-ranked worldwide for total hours per week spent on the Internet, most notably on mobile devices, including Brazil, Mexico and Argentina.
In 2012, smartphones accounted to fewer than one in 10 connections. Nowadays, smartphones account for six out of 10 mobile connections. That’s only expected to increase as much of Latin America experiences stronger economic growth, and as the new middle class seeks newer technologies. In addition, new technology upgrades and the evolution of smartphones will drive growth in the coming years.
There’s little wonder then that global e-commerce platforms and retailers are quickly investing in the Latin America, as well. China, for example, wants to build an Internet finance platform in Mexico, says Bloomberg. Smartphone company Transsion Holdings is setting up operations in Colombia. China Mobile Games & Entertainment plans to distribute mobile games in Mexico.
Samsung for example has captured nearly 30% of the Latin America market in the six most prominent markets – Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Argentina, Colombia and Peru. However, while Samsung may have considerable market share, sales of Apple iPhone devices are growing much more rapidly than those other brands, according to The Wharton School. In fact, Apple is still aggressively pushing to the region. It’s expected to open its first global flagship store in a Mexico Citymall by 2019. Apple also signed a lease for its upcoming Antara Hall location, just months after opening its first store in Mexico’s Centro Santa Fe mall.
Even companies such as Cool Holdings Inc. (formerly InfoSonics Inc.) are widening their exposure to Latin America’s insatiable need for smartphones and other technologies.