While smartphones have gone mainstream in many regions around the globe, adoption among emerging countries is still developing. According to new research from Nielsen, China is the only country among the high-growth BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) markets where smartphones are predominant, owned by two-thirds of Chinese mobile subscribers as of the first half of 2012. In contrast, feature phones—devices with no touchscreen, QWERTY keypad or operating system—are still dominant in India and Russia, owned by 80 percent and 51 percent of mobile subscribers, respectively. There’s no clear favorite type of mobile device in Brazil, with mobile ownership split between 44 percent feature phones, 36 percent smartphones and 21 percent multimedia phones (touchscreen and/or QWERTY keypad, but no operating system).
Much in the same manner as social media, smartphones–with their advanced functionality and access to a multitude of apps–influence everything from consumers’ interaction with both brands and each other, to and shopping and purchase decisions.
China and Russia – Online survey of 3,900 mobile subscribes aged 16 and older who were asked to identify what type of mobile device they own. Due to the online-only methodology in China, which excludes a large portion of China’s rural population, smartphone penetration may skew high.
India – In-person interviews with 3,900 mobile subscribers aged 16 and older who were asked to identify what type of mobile device they own.
Brazil – Phone interviews with 1,000 mobile subscribers aged 16 and older who were asked to identify what type of mobile device they own.
Look for Nielsen at Mobile World Congress 2013 where our mobile experts will present insights on the everyday mobile behaviors of global consumers.