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Weekly Chart: Smartphone Use in Latin America

April 15, 2015

With cheaper technology and expanding cellular networks, smartphones are booming in Latin America. Market research institute the GfK Group estimates that nearly 110 million smartphones were sold in the region last year. That means Latin America saw the largest increase in smartphone sales of any region in the world from 2013 to 2014—a 59 percent jump. 

Plus, an Ibope study found that nearly a quarter of Latin American cell phone users owned a smartphone in 2013, up from just 7 percent in 2010. As more people access the Internet from their phones, countries like Brazil and Colombia are working to expand their 4G networks.

Brazil leads the region with the largest number of smartphone users—close to 40 million. Mexico and Colombia have the second and third largest markets, respectively. 

When it comes to penetration rates, Chile leads the region. About half of Chilean cell phone users own a smartphone, according to eMarketer estimates. This is higher than the Latin American average of around 32 percent.


Smartphone ownership is slated to grow steadily over the next four years. eMarketer estimates that Peru will nearly double its number of smartphone users by 2018.