BlackBerry Leads Smartphone Market in Mexico

Samsung and Nokia come in second and third

Smartphones are not widely used in Mexico, but their presence in the market is growing, especially as some surprising contenders jockey for share.

The Competitive Intelligence Unit (CIU), a telecommunications consultancy based in Mexico City, found that in 2012, BlackBerry was in use by 30% of smartphone users in Mexico. Samsung and Nokia were just behind with 21% and 19% of the market, respectively. Apple devices, which are more expensive, accounted for only 13% of smartphone users.

In Latin America, Research In Motion (RIM) has found a safe haven amid the losses it has experienced in most markets across the globe. But BlackBerry will ultimately begin to lose share in Mexico. The CIU expected BlackBerry to drop to a 28% share by the end of 2013.

Not surprisingly, smartphone ownership is mainly clustered among Mexico’s middle class. The CIU estimated that individuals in the various “C” socioeconomic levels (SEL) made up 79% of smartphone ownership in Mexico in September 2012. The C SELs are viewed as Mexico’s middle and upper-middle classes and are generally associated with annual household incomes ranging from $15,000 to $45,000 for the middle class and $45,000 to $100,000 for the upper-middle class.

eMarketer estimates that 22 million people—or one-third of mobile phone users in Mexico—will use a smartphone this year.

By 2016, smartphones will be in the hands of more than one-third of Mexico’s population and 55% of its mobile phone users.