7 High-Impact Mobile Trends in Brazil

To help brands connect with Brazil’s rapidly growing mobile market, we identified  key areas that could make a difference when planning campaigns.

#1 Brazil leads Latin America in mobile device adoption by volume
While it’s true that Mexico has a higher rate of smartphone adoption and tablet user among its Internet users, in overall numbers, Brazil is Latin America’s mobile leader. Here’s why:

  • Smartphone sales in Brazil grew by 118% in 2013 (with more than 35 million units sold) and are projected to grow by 34% in 2014
  • Sales of regular cell phones are expected to drop by 44% in 2014
  • In 2013 smartphones accounted for 53% of the cell phones sold in the country but in 2014 smartphones will represent 71% of the cell phones sold in Brazil
  • Tablet sales in Brazil grew by 119% in 2013 to reach nearly 8 million and in 2014 nearly 11 million tablets will be sold in Brazil
  • Together, the smartphones and tablets sold in Brazil in 2014 will represent 83% of the entire volume of devices tracked by IDC, one of the world’s leading market intelligence firms
  • Overall, Brazil is the world’s #4 market in smartphone sales and it’s among the top 10 tablet markets in the world

#2 More than 40 million Brazilians use the mobile Internet
For advertisers, the heavy mobile device adoption obviously isn’t very helpful if the smartphone or tablet buyers in Brazil don’t use their devices to go online. But according to F/Nazca Saatchi & Saatchi, 43 million Brazilians are accessing the Internet via mobile devices—in comparison, IBOPE has indicated that there  is an overall total of 102 million internet users in Brazil. The results from F/Nazca don’t seem to be isolated: in December 2013 the Associação Brasileira de Telecomunicações reported that the use of the Internet through mobile devices in Brazil has increased by 438% since 2010.
Other key data points from F/Nazca’s research include:

  • 48% of mobile Internet users in Brazil are from classes AB, 46% from Classe C
  • 68% of mobile Internet users in Brazil are ages 16 to 34, 11% are 35 to 44
  • 54% of mobile Internet users in Brazil are men, 46% are women
  • 63% of mobile Internet users in Brazil use a prepaid data plan, 18% use a post-paid data plan and 19% don’t have a data plan

#3 WhatsApp is the most popular app in Brazil
A study from Qualcomm done in late 2013 showed that Brazilians ranked WhatsApp as their favorite app, with WeChat in the #2 spot and Facebook Messenger (previously the #1 app in Brazil) in the #3 spot. Another study, this one from OnDevice, indicated that WhatsApp was on 72% of the smartphones in Brazil and Facebook Messenger was a distant second with 49% penetration.
In terms of strictly social apps, Android Brazil reported in November 2013 that Facebook was #1 in Brazil, followed by Twitter, Google+, Orkut, Tumblr and LinkedIn.

#4 More than 8 in 10 Brazilian smartphone owners use their phones to play games
A study from research firm Newzoo indicates that Brazil has a total of 48.3 million gamers. Of these, nearly 53% report playing games using their smartphones. This means that there are more than 25 million smartphone gamers in Brazil. Given that there are roughly 30 million smartphone users in Brazil, this means that 85% of Brazilian smartphone users use their phones to play games. The Newzoo study also found that social or casual games are the most popular platform for Brazilian gamers, followed by TV/console and PCs.

#5 Gaming apps are the most popular type of app among Brazilian smartphone owners
A study from the Mobile Marketing Association asked Brazilian smartphone owners how they accessed different types of content, such as games, social networks and music. The options included apps, mobile networks or both. Forty percent of Brazilian smartphone owners reported accessing games through apps and only 11% used mobile browsers. Brazilian smartphone owners also seemed to prefer using apps to access social networks, email and music. Mobile browsers were more popular than apps for accessing news, websites and price comparison services.
Given that in-app advertising is proving to be effective in studies done in other markets, these figures suggest that this tactic could work well in Brazil if applied to games and social.

#6 Class C makes up 35% of smartphone owners in Brazil
With a population of more than 100 million and projected consumption that will exceed that of both classes A and B by 2015, Class C will continue to dominate marketing plans in Brazil. And mobile, particularly smartphones, should become another key way to reach them. Nielsen and the Mobile Marketing Association did a study of smartphone users in Brazil and found that 35% are from Class C, compared to 49% from Class B, 12% from Class A and 4% from Classes D and E. This study also revealed some other relevant data that may influence mobile campaigns:

  • The most popular type of apps among Brazilian smartphone users are social media media apps (77% use them)
  • Other popular types of apps include email (75%), news (57%), music (45%) and video (43%)
  • More than half of Brazilian smartphone users report using their devices to compare prices while in stores
  • 22% of Brazilian smartphone users say they visited a physical location of a store after seeing a mobile ad for it on their device

#7 Android remains the dominant operating system for smartphones in Brazil
In late 2013, Kantar Worldpanel reported that between January and August 2013, 77% of the smartphones sold in Brazil had the Android OS. Another study from GuiaLocal.com showed less dominance for Android in Brazil, with 63% of smartphones using this OS and 28% using iOS, 4% using Windows and just .19% using Blackberry. That said, these results are consistent with other studies showing Android’s advantage and this suggests that campaigns targeting by OS should be weighted accordingly.

To find out more about how we can help you reach Brazilians via mobile or any other form of media, please contact us.

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