A recent eMarketer article pointed out that Android appeared to be winning the operating system (OS) race in Latin America. For anybody still in doubt, Kantar Worldpanel ComTech found that the Google OS claimed 83.5% of smartphones sold in the region’s three-largest markets in December 2013—a 21.9-percentage-point improvement year over year.
As a result, every OS competing with Android in the region took a hit in their share of smartphone sales, but the extent of the damage varied. Windows’ share dropped 1.9 percentage points, while Research in Motion/BlackBerry was set back 7.5 points. The biggest losses came among smaller, and perhaps newer, operating systems, which fell from 17.0% to just 4.5%. Apple’s iOS was, once again, the only competitor to stand its ground to the Android steamroller—but barely, as it nevertheless fell 0.1 percentage point in the process.
Android’s dominance is significant considering that eMarketer expects the region to have the second-fastest compound annual growth rate (CAGR) between 2012 and 2017 (25.5%), behind only the Middle East and Africa. This will bring the number of smartphone users up to 243.0 million.
Among the Latin American countries for which we produce individual forecasts, the smartphone user base will expand the fastest in Brazil, with a CAGR of 26.7% between 2012 and 2017. Growth outside the top three economies, however, will be even faster (27.0% CAGR). Android already dominates in Brazil as well as the countries outside of the top three markets.
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