Across all major markets in Latin America, smartphone shipments declined in Q2 2016 compared to Q2 2015. And an August 2016 report from Canalys reveals that in the leading markets, like Brazil and Mexico, shipments are way down.
In Brazil, for instance, Q2 2015 saw 8.2 million smartphone shipments; in Q2 2016, there were only 7.2 million shipments. That’s a million fewer smartphones sold, and a decline of about 12%. Meanwhile, in Mexico, the story is the same: dropping from 7.5 million smartphone shipments in Q2 2015, to 6.6 million in Q2 2016, or about 12%. While countries like Colombia and Argentina also saw a drop in smartphone shipments in Q2 2016 vs. Q2 2015, the drops were modest in absolute size—in part because they are smaller markets. But in Argentina’s case, at least, the decline amount to a decrease of about 16% in smartphone shipments.
Earlier this year, Brazil saw even bigger drops in smartphone shipments. And according to a different August 2016 report from Canalys, Brazil was the only BRIC country to see a decline in smartphone shipments across Q1 and Q2 2016. While none of the nations in the group will see serious growth, Canalys estimates a 19% decline in shipments for Q1 2016 and a 12% decline for Q2 2016—substantial and troubling figures after three quarters of stagnation (or worse) in 2015. eMarketer estimates a total of 64 million smartphone users in Brazil in 2016, and a total of 44.2 million in Mexico in 2016. eMarketer also forecasts smartphone user growth in both countries to continue. One thing that could be stopping that growth from translating into more phones shipped is longer cycles for upgrades.
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