Mobile phone user growth plateaus, but mobile internet uptake increases dramatically
eMarketer estimates that in 2011, mobile phones were used by 3.6 billion people, more than half of the world’s population. A large portion of that population lives in Asia-Pacific, which has the two largest countries by population in the world: China and India. However, smaller countries are also contributing to the total, even as mobile phone user growth plateaus. Argentina is one example.
With nearly 1.4 mobile phone subscriptions per person, or 57.7 million total connections in 2011, mobile phones have become very common in the country. Mobile phone user penetration is behind subscriptions, but the market is still reasonably mature. As a result, mobile phone user penetration will grow relatively slowly from 77% of the population in 2011 to 84% by 2016.
Mobile phone user penetration will be approximately 25-percentage points higher than internet user penetration (54.3%) in 2012, but eMarketer expects mobile internet users to contribute to higher internet penetration during the forecast period. In 2012, more than a third of internet users (22.9 million) will access via their mobile phones (8.0 million).
As a result of higher mobile internet growth, by 2015, mobile internet users (15.1 million) will account for more than half of total internet users (29.0 million) in the country.
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