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Mobile connections have been on the upswing in Peru. According to telecom regulator Organismo Supervisor de Inversión Privada en Telecomunicaciones (OSIPTEL), a 6.4% year-over-year improvement brought that total up to 31.9 million in 2014, or 107.4% penetration. The expansion came after two years of negative or poor growth in the market due to changes in connection accounting practices among mobile carriers in Peru. eMarketer estimates there were only 5.1 million smartphone users in the country during the same period and expects that number to rise to just 6.2 million in 2015.
While the size of the advanced mobile phone market in Peru is seemingly small, the country is one of a myriad battlegrounds in which telecom giants Telefónica and América Móvil feud for control of Latin America—a region providing the bulk of their respective revenues worldwide. Peru is particularly important for Telefónica, as its subsidiary in the country generated nearly 10% of its revenue stream in the region in 2013; Latin America in turn generated 51% of Telefónica’s revenues globally during the same period.
In all likelihood, the value of Peru within the regional context is the underlying factor prompting competition among mobile carriers as well as the necessary expansion of their device offerings. February 2015 research by Futuro Labs, Samsung had taken the lead in the country’s smartphone market, used by nearly one-third of smartphone owners. Motorola came in a surprising second place, with a 17.4% slice, followed by Apple, at 14.2%.
A closer look shows that Samsung was particularly dominant among 25-to-34-year-old smartphone owners in Peru, with a 36.3% share of users. Unsurprisingly, Apple got its largest cuts among the two groups in their prime work years—25- to 34-year-olds and 35- to 44-year-olds, with respective shares of 19.8% and 22.4%. Former mobile giants Nokia—now a Microsoft brand—and BlackBerry held their highest shares among consumers ages 45 and older. Meanwhile, Motorola and LG registered respective portions of 20.1% and 9.7% among smartphone owners between 15 and 24 years old—their highest among all age groups.
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