Mexico: An Economy of Scale Beyond the BRICS
With a smartphone penetration rate of just 45%, it would be all too easy for app developers to put Mexico on the back-burner and concentrate on more buoyant global markets. However, drill a little deeper into the Mexican market and you’ll discover that it is a real Latin American powerhouse and a real economy of scale.
With a population of more than 130 million
people (it’s the 11th most populated country in the world), Mexico
has some 59.5 million smartphone users. That’s 4.8 million more than the United
Kingdom (with an 88% penetration rate), 10 million more than France (76%), and
25.9 million more than Spain (72.5%). In fact, countries like Canada, with 26.6
million smartphone owners, and Australia, with 17 million, look positively minuscule
when compared the potential of the Mexican market.
And the Mexican market is growing, with
analysts expecting to see upwards of 19 million more smartphone owners in the
region by 2023.
The fact is Mexico doesn’t only compare
well to the comparative BRICS emerging economies (Brazil, Russia, India, and
China, and South Africa), it pretty much competes on a level playing field with
many other advanced economies.
The App Economy is About to Explode
The Mexican market is relatively young,
with the median age of its citizens around 27 years. This compares with 37.8
years in the United States and a positively ancient 40 years in the UK. With
youth on its side digital and, mobile technologies stand a far greater chance
of deeper market penetration.
Z – Will the Smartphone Generation Change the Way We Work
Further Reading: App
Usage through the Ages – Targeting Older, More Lucrative Users
of Speaking Spanish
Developers looking at the Mexican market cannot
ignore the huge advantage offered by the fact it is a Spanish speaking country.
Spanish is the second most popular language on the planet with more than 400
million native speakers. As such, app developers looking to localize and roll
out apps across multiple countries will find it much easier than apps developed
for smaller language markets.
Note: English might be considered the lingua franca of travel, business,
and international relations but if you want to do business on a local level,
you’ve really got to speak the local language. Spanish is a great starting
Dominates Mexican Market
As is common in other Latin American
markets, the Android operating system completely dominates the Mexican market
with 91% of smartphone users using Google’s operating system. This compares to
47% in the US market where iOS and Android compete on a more even keel for
Entry-level Samsung devices also top the
list of the most popular smartphones in the region with the J2 and Grand Prime
models being particularly common. Motorola and Huawei devices have also made
significant inroads into the Mexican market.
Further Reading: BRICS:
A Smart Future Built on Affordable Devices
Apps – Go Lite
Communication and social media apps top the
list of priorities for Mexican smartphone users with WhatsApp and SnapChat
currently topping the local Google Play charts.
The challenges of a market dominated by
low-spec devices is also apparent with “lite” versions of Facebook and
Messenger joining their full-spec equivalents in the top ten.
Apps Come In Small Packages
and Google Apps Crowd the Market
It’s interesting to note that every app
currently sitting in the top ten of Mexico’s Google Play charts is owned by
either Facebook or Google. Look a little deeper into the charts and it’s clear
they also dominate much of the country’s top 50. This represents a significant
challenge for competitive app developers.
Limited space on devices(along with expensive mobile
data-plans and limited access to wi-fi which are common in many emerging
economies) may dissuade smartphone users from exploring the app marketplaces
and downloading new apps to their devices. When this happens, pre-loading may
be the only opportunity app developers have to compete with “essential” big
Pre-Loading Apps Can Help Developers Circumnavigate Fraud
the Digital Turbine Team at M360 Latin America
When exploring the potential in any market,
it’s always best to seek the advice of local experts. As a global technology
company, Digital Turbine has feet on the ground in the Mexican market, ensuring
the best possible insight into the latest trends and access to the widest range
of partners, including leading smartphone manufacturers and mobile networks.
Come and meet the Digital Turbine team at the M360 Latin America event in Mexico City between June 4th and 6th where we’ll be happy to discuss your app marketing strategy for the Mexican marketing and beyond. Contact us today to arrange an appointment.