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Majority of Latin America's Smartphone Users Buy via Mobile

Despite low digital buyer penetration, over half of smartphone users have made a mobile purchase

Where are smartphone users most likely to report purchasing products or services on their handsets? The answers may surprise you—especially the answer to the question, “Where aren’t they?”

May 2014 polling by IDG Global Solutions found that 78% of smartphone users in Asia-Pacific had made a mobile commerce purchase, compared with 70% in North America. It makes some sense that a relatively less developed ecommerce market would place high according to this metric, however: Overall, smartphone penetration in Asia-Pacific is relatively low, meaning the share of such users who have made a purchase is likely to be high. Across a broader swathe of the population, mcommerce penetration would look lower.

Latin America is another standout by this metric—an outright majority of smartphone users reported making a purchase. That compares with significantly lower penetration rates across the population of consumers and internet users who make ecommerce purchases at all (including on the desktop).

And while Latin America is behind the Middle East and Africa—another region where smartphone penetration reaches a fairly small share of the overall population, and smartphone users are therefore a select and advanced portion of the market—it placed ahead of both Eastern and Western Europe, places where smartphone penetration is higher, according to eMarketer’s estimates.

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