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Smartphones a Primary Access Device in Emerging Markets

Smartphone users in emerging markets avid app and mobile internet users

Smartphones are irreversibly changing the way that users access the internet, not just in developed markets like the UK and US, but also in emerging markets. The April 2012 Ericsson ConsumerLab report “Emerging App Culture” indicated that smartphone users in Brazil, India and Russia were avid app and mobile internet users.

The report, which is based on online surveys performed in all three countries and on-device measurements in India in late 2011, found that 63% of new and 75% of mature smartphone users accessed the mobile internet via a mobile app on a daily basis.

Among many users in these countries, smartphones are not just for on-the-go internet access, but a primary internet device: Approximately half of users in Brazil and Russia and 68% of new users in India used their smartphone for more than 50% of their total time online.

While the behavior shift was evident among consumers who already owned a smartphone, broader adoption faces significant barriers in emerging markets. Price sensitivity is high, and outside of large cities, 3G coverage and WiFi access are unreliable. Despite these barriers, however, smartphone penetration is on the rise. eMarketer expects smartphone penetration in Brazil, India and Russia to reach 16.8%, 6.2% and 18.5% in 2012, respectively, up from 10.3%, 2.8% and 10.8% in 2011.

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Check out today’s other articles, “Is Pinterest Really Leading to Product Purchases?” and “Consumers Create Own Social TV Experiences.”

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