Smartphones Rule in Spain - eMarketer

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Smartphones Rule in Spain

With 83% of mobile owners using a smartphone in 2014, penetration is greater than in the US or the UK

November 10, 2014

It's well known that levels of smartphone penetration in the UK and the US are high, and climbing steadily. What's not widely known is that Spain leads those countries in the percentage of mobile phone users who have a smartphone.

Smartphone User Penetration in Select Countries, June 2013 & June 2014 (% of mobile phone users)

According to comScore MobiLens, Spain has outpaced both the US and the UK by this measure in 2013 and 2014. This year, 83% of mobile users in Spain ages 13 and older used a smartphone, compared with 75% in the UK and 73% in the US.

What's more, Spain already registers one of the highest levels of mobile phone penetration in Europe. eMarketer estimates that 85.4% of the entire population will use a mobile phone this year; only Denmark, Finland and Norway will post a greater share of residents with mobile phones. In the UK, by contrast, the share will be less than 81%.

Mobile Phone User Penetration in Western Europe, by Country, 2012-2018 (% of population in each group)

This impressive mobile usage has major implications for mobile advertising in Spain, though spending on mobile ads has been pretty meager to date. This is largely the result of long-term economic factors. Spain is only now beginning to emerge from years of recession, marked by wholesale wage cuts, widespread unemployment and a collapse in the property market.

Outlays on mobile internet ads will rise to just $101 million this year, eMarketer predicts—a mere 8.3% of total advertiser expenditure on digital platforms. This market is slowly gaining momentum, though. eMarketer anticipates that mobile will claim 13.5% of digital ad spending next year, and more than 30% in 2017.

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