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Dan Swinhoe (South America)- Argentina's Booming Mobility
Following our focus on mobility inBrazil , it's now Argentina's turn. Although not as big as its Brazilian neighbor,the South American country is fully embracing the smart device revolution. According toBudde, ‘Argentina has one of the most solid state-of-the-art telecom infrastructures in Latin America.' This could by why percentage-wise it fares better than Brazil in many facets of mobility. Like many areas of Latin America the total mobile phone penetration is incredibly high. Growing by around 6% annually, the figure is predicted to reach 144% by the end of the year, though it also has high numbers of multiple SIM cards/subscriptions per person. In total Argentina accounts for around 9%of the regional connections, behind Brazil (38%) and Mexico (16%). As of March,2.1%of internet traffic came from non-computer-devices, 70.4% of that belonged to mobile phones while tablets accounted for 25.2%.
Less is More
While in sheer number Brazil owns more smartphones, by penetration Argentina has a far bigger market. 24% of people in the country (compared to Brazil's 15%) own a smartphone, totaling around 10 milliondevices. Of the13.7 million phones sold last year,24%were smartphones, and the numbers are bound to get even bigger. Salesof the devices grew by a whopping 398%in the first quarter of this year compared to the same period last year. Android is by far the most popular OS, taking around 50% of the market, compared to Apple's10%.Despite this rise in numbers, costs still remain prohibitive in the country. Argentina is currently the third largest mobile broadband market, with 55 million total subscriptions. Despite high costs, these look set tofall in the next few years. Smartphone prices remain high (around $250 dollars) preventing wider adoption, but hopefully as moreare sold and cheaper local devices are rolled out prices will fall. Inflation and government protectionism haven't yet banned sales of imported smartphones (despite an April Fool's story widely reported), but do make it difficult and expensivein an attempt to increase local production.Google recently conducted researchinto different countries' relationships with their smartphones. In South America they focused on Argentina and Brazil, and produced some interesting results. 20% more of Argentiniansmartphone users use their devices for emailing, social networking and search engines, yet the same proportionuse them for videos. Argentinians also have a slightly higher interest in apps, though still far less than countries
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