Mobile-Device Demand Driven by Developing Markets

June 30, 2008

This article is included in these additional categories:

Asia-Pacific | Global & Regional | Telecom

Consumers in 11 key markets around the world, especially the fast-growing economies of India, China, and Brazil, have strong demand for mobile devices – including cell phones, MP3 players, hand-held gaming devices, and laptop PCs, according to (pdf) research conducted by Ipsos MediaCT.

The InterAct: Global Digital Technology Trends (pdf) syndicated study, which tracks digital technology ownership use and purchase intent as well as associated online and mobile behavior, shows a shift in reported consumer purchasing behavior in the developing world.

Old vs. New

In some countries, demand is being driven by consumers who wish to replace older models, whereas in other countries new buyers are driving demand – an important distinction for manufacturers and service providers, Ipsos noted.


“In fast growing urban China, nearly half of urban Chinese households will buy a mobile phone this year, but since virtually all households (98%) already own at least one, the market for new buyers is saturated,” said Donna Wallace, VP of Ipsos MediaCT.

“By contrast, in urban Brazil, 29% of households do not yet own a mobile phone. That provides a large opportunity to sell to new household buyers. In fact, of the households in urban Brazil that intend to buy a mobile phone this year, nearly one in four households (22%) will be first-time buyers.”

MP3 players and other devices


Urban Brazil is a hot spot for new buyers of mobile devices and leads the world in household demand for hand-held gaming devices, MP3 players, and mobile phones. However with three times more people, total mobile device sales in urban China may actually exceed those sold in Brazil.

“A complex picture is emerging, but one thing is clear – consumer demand for mobile devices is especially strong in developing countries, particularly for mobile phones and MP3 players,” Wallace said.

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