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In June 2012 a presentation from Marcos Christensen—comScore country manager for Argentina and Uruguay—offered some compelling data on mobile device usage in Argentina from comScore’s Device Essentials service.
More Mobile Traffic Than Ever
First, non-computer devices accounted for 2.1% of the web traffic in Argentina, similar to the amount measured for Brazil (2%). In addition, comScore points out that non-computer web traffic has increased in nearly 100% in Argentina between 2011 and 2012. Despite this spike, Mexico and Chile seem to be ahead of both Argentina and Brazil in terms of using the mobile web: for each country, 4.6% of their respective web traffic comes from non-computer devices like mobile phones and tablets.
Mobile Phones vs. Tablets in Latam
When the device traffic is broken down for these markets, the following emerges:
• Argentina: 70% of non-computer web traffic is from mobiles, 25% from tablets
• Brasil: 54% of non-computer web traffic is from mobiles, 44% is from tablets
• Chile: 81% of non-computer web traffic is from mobiles, 15% is from tablets
• Mexico: 59% of non-computer web traffic is from mobiles, 30% is from tablets
Clearly, both Mexico and Brasil are great markets for selling tablets—and the high tablet use is something marketers and advertisers should consider when creating online campaigns for these markets. In addition, a recent projection from Cisco says that non-computer devices—smartphones, notebooks and tablets—will account for 21% of web traffic in Brazil by 2016.
Other Signs of the Rise of Mobile Internet in Latin America
Clearly, deeper mobile phone penetration and a surge in smartphone sales are both clear indicators of the rise of mobile Internet in the region. But we’ve covered them before in depth. However, another indicator that we haven’t focused on is mobile broadband, and that’s also gaining ground in Latin America’s major markets:
• Argentina: 194% increase in mobile broadband subscribers between 2010 (1.7 million) and 2012 (5 million)
• Brasil: 14 million mobile broadband subscribers in 2010, 73 million projected by end of 2012—421% growth
• Chile: 105% increase in mobile broadband connections in 2011
• Colombia: 69% increase in mobile Internet use in 2011
• Costa Rica: 35% of mobile phone users access the Internet, up from 14% in 2010
• Mexico: 107% growth in mobile broadband subscriptions between 2011 and 2012
• Uruguay: 60% increase in mobile broadband connections in 2011