Latin America's Smartphone Market to Grow to 150 Million Handset Units through 2014, says Pyramid

Jul 2, 2009

Given the growing interest by operators in smartphones, intensified competition among vendors, and the greater potential for growth in Latin America compared with other regions, the region's smartphone segment will represent an opportunity of 150 million handset units over the next five years -- 48 million handsets units in 2014 alone, according to a new report from Pyramid Research (, the telecom research arm of the Light Reading Communications Network (

Smartphones in Latin America: Big Opportunities for Operators and Suppliers examines the potential for growth in Latin America's smartphone market, as well as the factors driving this trend, by analyzing operators' and vendors' strategies. The 14-page report provides Pyramid Research's five-year forecast on smartphone adoption in Latin America and looks at vendor positioning, focusing on three cases, Nokia, Research in Motion, and Apple, while also examining relevant moves by operators and the strategies of the major handset vendors in the market, including marketing campaigns and bundles. Download an excerpt of this report here: Handset Forecasts are also available for 18 markets in Latin America, tracking handset sell-through by technology, feature set, price tier, and vendor, providing market share for 5 to 6 vendors per country. Learn more here:

The smartphone segment will become one of the most important sources of data revenue growth over the next five years in Latin America, notes Omar Salvador, Senior Analyst at Pyramid and author of the report. "The market is still in its infancy, representing only 3 percent of total handset unit sales in 2008; globally the figure was 12 percent," he says. "However, Pyramid predicts the segment will grow from 7 million smartphones sold in 2009, representing 5.4 percent of total handsets sales, to 48 million in 2014, or 30 percent of the total," he adds.

"Given that Latin America's mobile subscriber growth rate declined from 24 percent in 2007 to 19 percent in 2008, operators are more interested than ever in increasing their ARPS and encouraging smartphone uptake is an excellent approach to reaching that goal," Salvador says. "Vivo, the leading player in Brazil, recently highlighted how crucial the smartphone base is to its data revenue growth, while smartphone vendors are stepping up competition in the region with aggressive tactics, including handset bundles, new models, expanded entry-level portfolios, and close cooperation with operators," he adds.

If competition intensifies among vendors and operators, service bundling becomes more aggressive, the prices of entry-level smartphones fall below $100, and touchscreen phones become available in the midlevel price category, Pyramid believes smartphones can capture up to 39 percent of total handsets sales in 2014. "These growth drivers, supported by the growing 3G availability in Latin America, will push the Latin American smartphone market up toward the global average of smartphone handsets as a percentage of total handset sales," concludes Salvador.

Smartphones in Latin America: Big Opportunities for Operators and Suppliers is part of Pyramid Research's Latin America Telecom Insider report series. Telecom Insiders are packed with trend analysis, industry best practices, market sizing and forecasting, competitor analysis, and case studies, providing you information you can leverage to make better business decisions.

Download an excerpt of this report here: This report is priced at $595 and can be purchased online here: 5 or by contacting Jeff Claudino via email at or telephone at +1-619-229-9940.

About Pyramid Research

Pyramid Research ( offers practical solutions to the complex demands our clients face in the telecommunications, media and technology industries. Our analysis is uniquely positioned at the intersection of emerging markets, emerging technologies and emerging business models, powered by the bottom-up methodology of our market forecasts for over 100 countries-a distinction that has remained unmatched for more than 25 years. As the telecom research arm of the Light Reading Communications Network, Pyramid Research works with Heavy Reading, providing the communications industry's most comprehensive market data, trusted research and insightful technology analysis.

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Founded in 2000, Light Reading ( is the leading online media, research, and focused event company serving the $3 trillion worldwide communications market. is the ultimate source for technology and financial analysis of the communications industry, leading the media sector in terms of traffic, content, and reputation. Light Reading's research arms, Heavy Reading and Pyramid Research, provide the most comprehensive communications research, market data, and technology analysis in close to 100 markets around the world. Light Reading produces nearly 20 targeted communications events including TelcoTV, Ethernet Expo New York and Ethernet Expo London, The Tower Summit @ CTIA, and Optical Expo, as well as focused one-day events tailored for cable, mobile, and wireline executives. Light Reading was acquired by United Business Media in August 2005 and operates as a unit of TechWeb.

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