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Smartphones Outsell Feature Phones in Brazil

Young consumers' smartphones are their main internet device

According to estimates by International Data Corporation (IDC), 10.4 million smartphones were sold in Brazil in Q3 2013—a 19% quarter-over-quarter increase and a 147% hike compared with the same period in 2012.

More than growth, IDC figures pointed to an important shift in Brazil’s mobile market. As smartphone prices drop and mobile networks continue to expand, more consumers are setting aside their old feature phones for smart devices. Since Q3 2012, feature phone sales have been giving way to increased smartphone adoption. While smartphones represented around 27.5% of mobile phone sales in Brazil in the third quarter of 2012, the number sold in the same period last year accounted for 58.1% of newly purchased devices.

With continued strong smartphone sales, eMarketer estimates there will be nearly 40 million smartphone users in Brazil by the end of this year, representing 26.8% of the country’s mobile phone users and close to 20% of its total population.

Another important trend driving smartphone sales is that while it is still more common for Brazil’s internet users to go online via computers than on mobile phones, smartphones are increasingly the go-to device for internet access, especially among younger demographics.

A September 2013 study by the Mobile Marketing Association and IBOPE Nielsen Online found that 38% of 10-to-17-year-old smartphone owners in Brazil used their phones as their main internet access point—the highest response rate among all age demographics. The share dropped to 33% for adults ages 18 to 24 and to 21% for the 25-to-34 bracket.

When considering all age groups, one-quarter of smartphone owners in Brazil were using the mobile device as their main web access channel.

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