Mobile Growth in Brazil Markets – How Will Companies Respond?

Tablets Are the #1 Choice in Brazil

Tablet manufacturers should be rejoicing as the growth of tablet sales in Brazil has been steadily increasing over the past few years. In 2011, there was a total of 1.1 million tablet sales. In 2013, the number is expected to increase to 5.8 million, clearly establishing a very promising market for tablet manufacturers in the Latin American country.

The Growing Market for Tablets in Brazil

Brazilian Tablet Market

Nowadays, Brazil is considered to be one of the emerging markets in Latin America. The growing number of manufacturers which offer reasonably-priced tablets is affecting Brazilian consumers. As stated above, the number of sales of tablets in the country has been rising throughout the years. It is also expected that tablet prices will soon be dropping to almost 40%, according to the Brazilian communications minister. He believes that tablet sales will be a “bomb” at the end of 2013.

In addition to the expected dip in prices, there are also 12 other tablet manufacturers that are interested in producing tablets for the Brazilian market. According to the Brazilian minister of science and technology, Aloizio Mercadante, this list includes Foxconn, Positivo, Envision, LG, Samsung, Itautec, Sanmina, Compalead, MXT, Aiox and Semp Toshiba.

With a wide range of tablets being prepped up for the Brazilian market, it is indeed no surprise that this Latin American country is now considered to be one of the emerging economies and markets in the region.

Brazilians Favor Tablets Over Personal Computers

In the 1st quarter of 2013, Brazil experienced a drop in personal computer sales.  Only around 5.5 million personal computers are expected to be sold in 2013, which represents a 10% drop in PC sales in Brazil.  This is the the steepest decline in PC sales since 1994.

On the other hand, more and more Brazilians are acquiring tablets. In Brazil, tablets can be bought for as low as $110, but these are China-made ones. A majority of tablet buyers, however, would prefer to buy something more expensive for repair and warranty reasons. The majority of tablet sales in the country are around $225 per unit or less. Because of the very affordable prices, more people are turning to tablets to keep themselves connected. It’s also proving to be an even more handy and convenient way to surf the Internet, as opposed to laptops or desktops.

The Growth of Mobile Internet Traffic in Brazil

In a study conducted by comScore, among 10 Latin American countries 2.6% of all web browsing activities were found to have been coming from mobile devices. These countries include Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, Chile, Mexico, Colombia Ecuador, Argentina, Peru, Venezuela and Brazil. These mobile devices include tablets, mobile phones and others similar gadgets. Although 2.6% seems minuscule, going into the details would show that the Brazilian market for mobile devices is rapidly growing.

Since 2011, more and more Brazilian Internet users are switching from personal computers to mobile phones and tablets. In the span of one year, mobile traffic share grew from a mere 0.6% to 2.4% from May 2011 to May 2012. Amongst the 10 Latin American countries, Brazil has the highest share of traffic that come from tablets. Around 39.9% of Brazil’s mobile traffic comes from tablets.

Brazilians Prefer to Use Tablets to Browse the Internet 

Brazilian Mobile Market

About 46.2% of tablet users in Brazil spend no more than 10 hours online per week. About 28.8% spent 10 to 20 hours per week. The latter percentage is actually double the percentage of mobile phone users who spend their time online within that time range. Interestingly, with the given statistics, Internet users who use tablets actually spend more time online. It is actually safe to say that Brazilian users who have tablets use it to surf the web for longer hours as opposed to smartphones.

What could be the reason for this? Perhaps the size of the tablets, as compared to smartphones, is a big factor. It makes reading websites and web surfing easier for people who use tablets, because the text is easier to read. In addition, the emergence of small-sized tablets, such as five to seven inches, also increased the portability of this access device.

Apple Leads the Market in Brazil

The emergence of the Apple iPad changed the tablet game. As such, the Apple iOS still has the largest share of mobile traffic in Brazil. ComScore found that around 60.6% of mobile traffic comes from iOS, as opposed to 19.6% from the Android OS. This further secures Apple’s position as the leader in Brazil.

Brazilians Spend More Time Online With Their Tablets

Brazilian consumers also seem to surpass the world’s average usage time of tablets, smartphones and e-readers. In a study, it was found that the average Brazilian spends around 79 minutes using a tablet, while the world average is only around 71 minutes. Although the number of tablets in Brazil has increased over the years, its penetration rate of just 5% in 2012 is still lower than the world average of 24%.

Brazil is a Major Emerging Market in South America

Tablet manufacturers should consider using the Internet as their main medium to influence the Brazilian market. According to a study, the Brazilians consider the Internet as the media that influences tablet purchasing decisions tablets.

Brazilian Emerging Market

A majority of tablet users in the country are males from 18 to 24 years old, belonging to the “Class A” bracket. Sao Paulo has the biggest number of tablet users, followed by Rio de Janeiro.

It’s also quite interesting to note that today, Brazil is the 7th ranking biggest Internet market in the whole world. More and more Brazilians are doing things on the Internet, such as watching videos and spending time on social networks. With a population of nearly 200 million people, Brazil is a major emerging market for tablet manufacturers.  It will be interesting to see how companies will respond to the demand in the Brazilian market.


  1. Ron Seow
  2. Christine Ormerod

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