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Mexico’s smartphone uptake will continue on a sharp and steady growth trajectory over the next few years. eMarketer forecasts that between 2014 and 2018, smartphone users will grow from 24.0% to 40.0% of Mexico’s overall population, or from 41.2% to 62.6% of its mobile phone audience. By 2016, more than half of all mobile phone users in Mexico will own a smartphone.
Though the high cost of smartphones and mobile data plans remains a hindrance to many in Mexico’s middle class, the country’s advanced mobile ecosystem is growing increasingly accessible for consumers. Smartphone buyers are turning to cheap, low-end models and secondhand markets for affordable devices, mobile carriers have rolled out flexible pricing strategies to attract consumers in lower income brackets with little access to bank accounts and credit cards, and government regulation passed in 2013 is expected to bring about competition among Mexico’s mobile carriers. A large proportion of internet users in Mexico use web-enabled feature phones and smartphones as their primary mode for internet access, which has helped spur overall internet adoption in recent years.
Young adults 18 to 34 make up Mexico’s core smartphone audience. More than 40% of individuals in this age group will use an advanced mobile device this year. Teens 12 to 17 and adults 35 to 44 also overindex in usage.
In 2014, 16.8 million men and 11.9 million women in Mexico will use a smartphone, equating to a share breakdown of 58.5% male and 41.5% female. Male smartphone users will account for 41.0% of the country’s male mobile phone user base, while 32.1% of the female mobile phone audience in the country will use a smartphone.
The difference among the genders will begin to decline as Mexico’s smartphone audience matures and as women outpace men in smartphone adoption, though men will remain the predominant gender through at least 2018. eMarketer expects the share gap between Mexico’s male and female smartphone audiences to decrease from 17 percentage points to 9 percentage points between now and the end of the forecast period.
eMarketer bases all of its forecasts on a multipronged approach that focuses on both worldwide and local trends in the economy, technology and population, along with company-, product-, country- and demographic-specific trends, and trends in specific consumer behaviors. We analyze quantitative and qualitative data from a variety of research firms, government agencies, media outlets and company reports, weighting each piece of information based on methodology and soundness.
In addition, every element of each eMarketer forecast fits within the larger matrix of all its forecasts, with the same assumptions and general framework used to project figures in a wide variety of areas. Regular re-evaluation of each forecast means those assumptions and framework are constantly updated to reflect new market developments and other trends.
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