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Peru is the fifth-largest country in Latin America by population and the sixth by GDP, according to the CIA World Factbook. It is a young country, where those ages 24 and younger represent 46.5% of the population. Peru is also home to the fifth-biggest internet user market in Latin America, with 16.0 million consumers of all ages expected to use the internet in 2015—a 10.4% year-over-year increase—eMarketer estimates. The country will boast the fifth-fastest internet user growth worldwide this year, trailing India, the Philippines, Indonesia and South Africa.
Peru will continue to see the highest internet user gains in Latin America through 2017. This heated expansion, however, comes from a low base relative to its population. By our estimates, internet user penetration in Peru will stand at 52.6% this year, the lowest among the six individual countries for which we produce internet user forecasts in the region.
When broken down by access type, the picture is not particularly bright either. Fixed broadband subscriptions will total just 1.9 million in Peru this year, up from 1.7 million in 2014, eMarketer estimates, and penetration will reach just 6.2% of the country’s population in 2015—well below the 11.5% average for Latin America.
Similar to markets like Colombia and Mexico, fixed broadband subscriptions will likely be ditched in favor of nimble mobile broadband networks, especially in a country with the mountainous geography of Peru. But for now, mobile phone uptake—both feature and smartphones—is also lagging by regional standards. eMarketer predicts there will be 18.5 million mobile phone users in Peru in 2015, or 60.7% of the population. Even Mexico, the other notorious mobile laggard in Latin America, will reach a higher mobile phone user penetration rate this year, at 67.2%.
eMarketer expects 6.2 million people of any age in Peru to use a smartphone at least once per month this year. Though it currently trails Chile (home to a smaller population) by that metric, the sheer size of Peru’s population will help lift the country to a more adequate fifth place in Latin America by 2019, the last year of our forecast period, with 10.1 million smartphone users that year, vs. 9.8 million in Chile. Argentina and Colombia, both with populations roughly one-third larger than Peru’s, will have much bigger smartphone user bases of 20.9 million and 24.3 million, respectively, in 2019.
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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