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Affluents in Mexico Overindex for Smartphone, Tablet Usage

Affluents account for 21% of the country’s population

April 8, 2014

Consumers in the top socioeconomic categories in Mexico (AB and C+) make up about 21% of the population, but they have an outsize presence in digital life, as well as real-world income and consumption, according to a new eMarketer report, “Mexico Affluents: How Higher Income Consumers Spend Time and Money Online.”

Demographic Profile of Mobile Device* Users in Mexico, Oct 2013 (% of respondents)

Predictably, affluents are more likely to own mobile devices than the average person in Mexico, and an October 2013 study by the Interactive Advertising Bureau México (IAB México) and Millward Brown found that affluent mobile device users represented 26.0% of the market.

A more detailed breakdown by mobile devices and services shows just how wide the gap between affluents and the general population is. According to a December 2013 study from The Competitive Intelligence Unit (CIU), mobile connections were ubiquitous among affluents, with a 111.2% reach. In Mexico as a whole, mobile connection penetration stood at 86.9% of the population. Meanwhile, smartphone, tablet and mobile broadband uptake were roughly twice as common among affluents than the general population.

Penetration of Mobile Devices/Services Among Affluent* vs. Total Consumers in Mexico, Dec 2013 (% of population in each group)

Limiting the scope to smartphones, the gap between affluents and the rest of the population is even clearer. According to the CIU, 47.0% of smartphone users in Mexico belonged to top-earning ABC+ households in July 2013.

Such share in the mobile landscape is hardly surprising if one considers that, according to a July 2013 study of affluents conducted by Ipsos in the three largest metropolitan areas of the country, 91.1% of affluents used smartphones last year, outpacing the regional average of 81.0%.

Tablet uptake is still in the very early stages of adoption, but it also shows the contrasting dynamics at play in Mexico. According to the CIU, 13.0% of consumers in the AB group used tablets, nearly double the 7.0% of C+ consumers who used the coveted device. Tablet penetration dropped to 2.0% or less among the middle and lower classes.

Demographic Profile of Tablet Users in Mexico, April 2013 (% of population in each group)

Though overall tablet adoption in Mexico is within the range of emerging economies (generally under 5% in 2013), affluents are clearly ahead of the curve in the country.

The full report, “Mexico Affluents: How Higher Income Consumers Spend Time and Money Online,” also answers these key questions:

  • Who are Mexico’s affluent?
  • What are their consumption habits?
  • How do they access the internet, and what do they use it for?

This report is available to eMarketer corporate subscription clients only. eMarketer clients, log in and view the report now.


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