WiFi and cheaper prices are key to smartphone penetration in Latin America

Brian Sin - Apr 15, 2013
WiFi and cheaper prices are key to smartphone penetration in Latin America

According to Fabricio Bloisi Rocha, the CEO of Movile, the largest mobile services company in Brazil, more WiFi connections and cheaper smartphones are the key to penetrating the smartphone market in Latin America. Bloisi spoke at All Things D’s conference, D: Dive Into Mobile about the future of mobile in Latin America. He stated that in Latin America, “The smartphone will be your whole connection to the internet.”

According to Bloisi, the next 4 years will be the most crucial years for smartphone companies to begin marketing their devices in Latin America. He also says that having more WiFi connections in Latin America will be crucial to transforming the Latin American market. He believes that manufacturers will need to shell out cheaper phones, because due to “taxes, taxes, and the mystery of the Brazilian economy”, pricing of smartphones is 10x more expensive than other markets.

Bloisi states that the industry moving their focus away from HTML5 was the wrong decision. It sounds like what Bloisi believes is the key to penetrating the Latin American market is exactly what Mozilla is doing with its Firefox OS. While not addressing the “more WiFi connections” factor, Firefox OS does help accommodate all of the other “key” factors Bloisi believes will increase smartphone penetration in Latin America.

Earlier today, Mozilla announced that Firefox OS devices will launch in Venezuela, Poland, Brazil, Portugal, and Spain this June. Firefox OS revolves around HTML5, and the smartphones running the OS will primarily be low-end, affordable devices. Mozilla plans on bringing Firefox OS to at least 18 global operators, most of which are primarily emerging markets. While Firefox OS may not do well in major markets, it has a fighting chance in emerging markets, and is apparently exactly what emerging markets need.

[via All Things D]

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