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Report: iPhone Boosts Competition in the Latin America Mobile Handsets Markets
May 28, 2009
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The advent of the iPhone in the Latin American market has enhanced the levels of awareness of the value of smart phones, says a Frost & Sullivan report. Although the iPhone's impact on the market was massive, competition was quick to react, unveiling a slew of models possessing features similar to the iPhone. The result was that the benefits of smart phones became increasingly evident, enabling deeper market penetration of the product, the report said.

The report, Mobile Handsets in Latin America - Smart Phones in the Post iPhone Era, said that smart phones in Latin America are poised for strong growth over the long term, since they enable the advanced data services that corporate and young users are demanding.

The report said that Latin America is currently at the same stage of growth as Europe was in 2004 and is expected to follow a similar evolutionary path. All countries in the region will display growth in the uptake of smart phones; however, the logic behind adoption will vary from country to country. In Argentina, Brazil, and Chile, the report said, evidence points to user preference for phones that provide better experience and more functions, whereas for users in Venezuela and Mexico, the handsets are looked upon as status symbols.

Though market prospects look encouraging, the report said that there are some impediments restraining progress. Issues such as high cost, billing issues for data services, and battery autonomy will have to be addressed to unlock the full potential of the devices. The cost of a smart phone in Latin America is also a major challenge, the report said, but the impact of this factor will decrease in the long run as vendors benefit from larger economies of scale.

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