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As deployment of LTE mobile networks continued in Argentina during 2015, shipments of smartphones that support the technology grew more than 1600% compared to the prior year, according to Counterpoint, an Asia-based technology market research firm.
According to Counterpoint, the overall smartphone market expanded 232% year over year and represented 98% of total mobile devices shipped in Argentina in 2015. By contrast, overall mobile device shipments grew 214% during the same period.
The sprout in smartphone uptake greatly benefited the top suppliers in this market, most of them based in Asia. South Korea's Samsung, for example, upped its share of smartphone shipments in Argentina from 34.9% in Q4 2014 to 38.3% in the same period in 2015. Another Seoul-based company, LG, also expanded its share in the market from 15.1% to 19.5% in the same circumstances. The top five ranking in the category was rounded out by Motorola (10.6% market share in Q4 2015), TCL-Alcatel (6.5%) and Huawei (6.5%), all of which hail from Asia and improved their share of smartphone shipments in the country.
Though the improvement in LTE-capable smartphone shipments may seem impressive, the spike came from an extremely small base as manufacturers had held back local production and imports of LTE-capable smartphones due to the lack of a LTE network up until December 2014, as well as sharply protectionist measures against imports imposed by the previous government—the Macri administration took oat in December 2015 and the president quickly moved to reopen Argentina to international markets.
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