Brazilian mobile market returns to growth

Feature phones are bringing new momentum to sales, says IDC

The mobile phone market in Brazil has returned to growth after a decrease in sales caused by the economic downturn, according to a report by analyst firm IDC.

Some 12.044 million devices were sold between April and June 2016, of which 10.779 million were smartphones and 1.265 feature phones. This represents growth of 23.1 percent in relation to the first quarter of the year.

According to IDC, growth within smartphone sales was 16.6 percent, while sales of feature phones have seen a 38.4 percent uplift in relation to the previous quarter.

"Feature phones are boosting the market again. In 2015, there was a lack of such devices in the Brazilian market and there are a lot more options today," says IDC Brazil analyst Diego Silva.

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"Besides, these phones are perfectly fine and more attractive price-wise for users in rural areas, where 3G barely works and 4G is not available yet," Silva adds.

As most manufacturers have been stalling new launches in Brazil during the recession, other firms, such as Brazilian maker Positivo, have been investing in new releases that cater specifically for the demand for feature phones.

IDC also notes that the majority of devices sold (64.2 percent) during the second quarter ranged between R$499 ($155) and R$999 ($310). In Brazil, a basic version of the iPhone 6S costs R$2999 ($932).

The average spending ticket in Q2 dropped to R$1045 ($325) from R$ 1152 ($358) seen in the first quarter.

According to IDC, even with a smaller average ticket, mobile sales revenue in Brazil during the second quarter was 10 percent higher in relation to the first quarter and 15,7 percent higher in relation to the same period in 2015.