Flurry Study Sees Rapid Smartphone Growth in Latin America

LatinamericaBrazil statueWith the 2016 Rio Olympics starting today, Flurry has released its first report looking at smartphone and app growth in Latin America. Though the region has been slower to adopt mobile apps in years past, largely a result of limited high-speed data connectivity, the study dives into year-on-year growth (2016 vs. 2015) in both smartphone adoption and mobile app engagement. The Flurry SDK resides in 22,700 apps developed by 5,411 companies based in Latin America, across 252m devices. Flurry sees 25bn sessions every month in the region.

As more Latin American users gain access to smartphones, Flurry wanted to understand which device manufacturers were winning market share in the region. It tracked 10 per cent year-on-year growth in active devices between June 2015 and June 2016; from 230m to 252m. While some estimate device penetration to be around 180m devices, Flurry measured 70m more active devices in the region in June 2016.

When broken down by manufacturer, Samsung gained six per cent market share between 2015 and 2016, for a total of 45 per cent of all active devices. Apple’s market share declined by eight per cent between 2015 and 2016, going from 22 per cent of active devices to only 14 per cent in 2016.
Interestingly enough, Motorola maintained its market share at 15 per cent and now holds the number two position in the region. The growth and dominance of Android devices provides great opportunity for Hauwei and other hardware players trying to expand into the US and the Americas, Flurry believes.

The region is following global trends of phablet adoption, with phablets taking share from all device form factors between June 2015 and June 2016. Where LATAM differs from global trends is in the permanence of small phones. Although the number of active small phones dropped three per cent year-on-year, the percentage of small phones in the region exceeds global benchmarks and trends. This is indicative of the lifecycle and maturity of the marketplace, with users just beginning to adopt larger and more recently-released smartphones.

While the top eight countries driving sessions mirror the top most populous countries in the region, Flurry found that Brazil and Mexico make up 55 per cent of all sessions over the last year. This can likely be tied to size of each countrys population, maturity of economy and GDP, and users’ access to high-speed data connectivity. This is a key measure to keep in mind for developers looking to invest in the region and where they should allocate resources when looking to drive adoption of their products, Flurry notes.

The Dominican Republic (690m sessions) and Bolivia (538m sessions), while not ranking in the top 10 countries for sessions, had the highest year-on-year growth in session activity, with 116 per cent and 155 per cent increases respectively.

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