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Brazilian mobile phone market declines

Manufacturers suffer with economic downturn; but country remains among the world's top five markets
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Written by Angelica Mari, Contributing Writer on

Mobile phone sales in Brazil have seen a decline in 2016 due to the economic crisis the country has experienced, according to analyst firm IDC.

However, despite the 5.2 percent decrease in sales with 48.4 million handsets sold compared to the 51.1 million marketed in 2015, Brazil remains the world's fourth largest market for mobile phones.

Smartphones have seen the biggest hit last year, according to the IDC figures, with a 7.3 percent decline and 43.5 million units sold.

Conversely, feature phone sales by manufacturers such as Brazilian firm Positivo grew 18.5 percent, with 4.9 million units sold.

Some changes in consumer behaviour noted by the analyst include the fact that Brazilians no longer prefer major manufacturers: in 2014, 94 percent of the devices sold came from the main six global manufacturers and that decreased to 80 percent last year as local consumers began to buy from smaller foreign companies and domestic firms.

Average consumer spending on mobile phones has also grown last year, from R$ 882 ($283) in 2015 to R$ 1,050 ($337) in 2016.

According to IDC, mobile phone manufacturers with operations in Brazil were badly hit by the economic crisis - according to IDC analyst Leonardo Munin, the production was frozen in the first quarter due to the lack of parts.

Throughout the year the situation started to get back to some normality and in the fourth quarter, 13.8 million devices were sold, a 16 percent increase on same period of 2015.

For 2017, IDC expects mobile phone sales to increase by 1.6 percent with 49.2 million units sold during the whole year.

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