Mexico Tops Smartphone Market in Latin America With 50 Percent Growth in 2013, Becomes Interest for Mobile Ad Marketers

LatinPost

Posted: Feb 06, 2014
By Michael Oleaga

Nokia Smartphone
Nokia phones on display in a shop. (Photo : REUTERS/Ints Kalnins)

Smartphone usage in Mexico has led to the country become an interest to mobile marketers.

According to eMarketer, mobile phone usage in Mexico is not as common compared to other major Latin American countries, but yet smartphone penetration is “comparatively high.” Smartphone usage in Mexico more than doubled in 2012. In 2013, it grew almost 50 percent again. As a result, eMarketer projected 6.1 million people will be added to Mexico’s smartphone owners population.

With the projection, Mexico could see approximately 33.3 million smartphone users, which is more than one-quarter of the country’s population. According to Mexico’s National Population Council, the country has 118.4 million inhabitants.

Mexico, however, does encounter “lack of competition” in the mobile industry and has thus resulted in high mobile data plans and devices prices. With high the high prices, obtaining a smartphone has been “out of reach” for many Mexicans. The smartphone users in Mexico have been identified to be usually in the top-earning socioeconomic groups, but mobile carriers could be thinking of alternatives to provide smartphones to “less-banked and cred-card-lacking portions” of the Mexican population.

Advertisers and marketers have been acting quick to take part in the mobile phone increase in Mexico, and the country is expected to outpace every Latin American market in mobile ad spending during 2014. In 2012, mobile markets revenues in Mexico — which included development and production costs and ad spending — topped $60.3 million, or 794 Mexican pesos, a 98 percent increase from the previous year’s $51.9 million.

According to the Interactive Advertising Bureau Mexico (IAB México) and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), display advertising, from mobile browsers to games and apps, accounted for 79.3 percent of mobile advertisement in Mexico during 2012. Mobile advertisement network StartMeApp noted 74 percent of its mobile ads took place in Mexican smartphones during the second quarter of 2013. In comparison, per StartMeUp, while mobile advertisement impressions among smartphones hit 74 percent in Mexico, it accounted for 62 percent for all of Latin America and 76 percent in upper North America.

“Looking ahead, eMarketer predicts investments in mobile Internet ads in Mexico will expand an additional 87.7 [percent] in 2014 to reach $173 million. That total works out to a 19.2 [percent] share of digital ad spending this year — a considerably higher portion compared with Latin America’s average of 6.5 [percent], but still behind North America, where mobile will account for 29.5 [percent] of digital ad spend in 2014.”

According to Latin Link, while Mexico leads the Latin American smartphone penetration, Brazil is next at 23 percent, followed by Argentina’s 20 percent, Chile’s 19 percent, and Peru’s 17 percent.


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