iPhone in Spanish
iPhone in Spanish

Mobile Trends: Smartphone Usage and Penetration in Latin America and the United States

iPhone in Spanish

iPhone in Spanish

In this post we have extracted some interesting facts about the behavior of iPhone users in the United States and Latin America.

The Latin market promises to break records this year in sales as the overall market in 2010 in Latin America is making a recovery in technology sales.

This is not only because of the change in the amount of sales, but also the characteristics of the products purchased. According to several studies, in 2010, sales of smartphones could reach a historic level in Latin America with approximately 11 million units -4 million more than in 2009.

Recent studies of the TNS Global Market Research foresee a drop in sales of desktop computers and a significant increase in sales of laptop computers; for example, sales of notebooks and netbooks have risen 10% since 2009.

In the same way, smartphones are beginning to “slip” in the lives of Latin Americans. 62% of Latin Americans are expected to change their phone in 2010, 29% more than in 2009.

Research has shown that choosing a new device will be influenced mainly by the recommendation of a friend. The acquisition of smartphones in Latin America represents 8.6% of global sales of such technology. All of the products are sold worldwide, but they behave differently depending on the market in which they are in. Acquiring this kind of data is complicated because with smartphones, each user customizes his phone according to his own interests: the user loads only the applications that he finds interesting and these are so varied that it is nearly impossible to create detailed statistics about the use of smartphones. However, using more general categories, we can know roughly the relationship between a user and his Smartphone.

Trends: The use of smartphones in the United States

  • Americans make use of this technology mainly to communicate via email and instant messaging.
  • Portals remain the second heaviest activity on mobile Internet (11.6 percent share of time), despite their double digit decline and social networking’s rise to account for 10.5 percent of the share, which means that the gap is much smaller than a year ago.
  • In order of priority, content searches remain on the list of interests followed by games, news and music.

Trends: The use of smartphones in Latin America

In the south, the trend and interest in smartphones has shown interesting changes:

  • Users expected this phone to have a quick and easy way to send and receive text messages.
  • The use that people give to these devices is tied to the navigation on the Internet: content and application downloads, access to social networks, searches, etc.
  • Top mobile devices in Argentina: iPhone 15%  y iPod touch 13%
  • iPhone or BlackBerry: Interestingly, Latin American entrepreneurs prefer the BlackBerry due to its applications and tools for corporate activity.

While the iPhone offers the best internet browsing experience with an easy to use operating system and the combination of the best iPod with a great mobile phone, BlackBerry has excellent performance for mobile executives and can manage of a high volume of information; the device offers practical features that make finding and entering information easier with shortcuts and menus that go straight to the desired area.

So far, the predictions made last year are being met, but to have more accurate data we have to wait a few more months. The interesting thing about the behavior of a product in different markets -in addition to the useful data which is fed to the same market- is the way they are tailored to each location, becoming a shared technology around the world, but with very local features and functions.

Use of technology by U.S. born Latinos

  • Latinos born in the United States make greater use of technology compared to Latinos born in Latin America, according to the new Pew Hispanic Center poll.
  • While 72% of Latinos who were not born in the U.S. use a cell phone, this percentage rises to 80% for those born in that country.
  • In both groups, we observe that teenagers are more likely to use mobile devices.
  • Besides the fact that in Latin America, the technology is more expensive and much of the population has unsatisfied basic needs, another indicator of the difference in the use of technology is the domain of English. 84% of those who speak only English use cell phones, compared with 76% of those who are bilingual and 69% of those who speak primarily Spanish.


Tangelo, being a company with offices in the U.S. and Latin America- is interested in knowing: what is the specific relationship between our audience and the technology offered by their mobile phones?

Would love to hear  which functions of your smartphone you use the most.

by @leilaergo

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