Local mobile browser markets: Brazil

It’s instructive to take a good look at some local mobile browser market stats, as always by StatCounter. Today we treat Brazil.

Only 7% of Brazilian website hits come from mobile browsers. Thus the mobile browser level is about half of western developed nations, and can’t compare to much poorer developing nations.

I can only guess why this is the case, but let’s try: Brazil is distinctly wealthier than countries like Nigeria and India, so people bought regular computers and got used to using them. Thus, the mobile device is not their first opportunity to go online, as it is in Nigeria and India. Still, people are not as wealthy as in the developed world, which means they’ll think twice before using a (potentially costly) mobile data connection. (It could also be that mobile data is just plain more expensive in Brazil, but I have no data on that.)

Sounds nice, no? Remember it’s all guesswork. Not a shred of factual data was used in this explanation, except for the solitary figure of 7%.

Brazil is Android country. Android WebKit has nearly half of the market, although its growth stalled in the last quarter, while Chrome is growing and possibly taking new Android buyers. As usual, I have no idea which Chrome is meant here: the default 18 running on S4 (not likely, due to the price point), the 26 that’s preinstalled on most modern Android devices, or the downloadable one.

Opera Mini has lost a lot of market share; indicating maybe that Brazilians aren’t so interested in proxy browsing any more — or maybe they switched to newer phones that don’t have Opera Mini pre-installed. Maybe that latter theory is more true, since Nokia (which I assume mostly means proxy browser Nokia Xpress) isn’t falling all that much — just a little bit.

Safari is growing slowly. The iPhone is expensive in a Brazilian context, but there are still enough people interested in Apple products to show a slow increase.

IE is gaining traction, which is nice for Microsoft. I assume that it mostly comes from new Nokia phones; as the Nokia browser figures prove there’s still residual brand loyalty in Brazil.

The Phantom browser is a WebKit-based one from LG for use in their proprietary platforms. I tested it for one day back in 2010, and wasn’t too impressed. A quick search revealed that just about every mention of Phantom in fact comes from 2010, so I assume the browser was discontinued but Brazilians still use a lot of LG phones that were bought in 2010 and 2011.

UC, finally, holds on to its sliver of the market.

Mobile browser stats for Brazil
Browser Q3 2013 ch Q2 2013 ch Q1 2013 ch Q4 2012
Android 43% 0 43% +1 42% +7 35%
Opera 16% -1 17% -4 21% -7 28%
Safari 16% +1 15% +1 14% +2 12%
Nokia 11% -2 13% +1 12% -1 13%
Chrome 5% +2 3% +2 1% 0 1%
IE 3% +1 2% 0 2% +1 1%
Phantom 2% 0 2% -1 3% +1 2%
UC 2% 0 2% 0 2% +1 1%
Other 2% -1 3% 0 3% -4 7%
Volatility 4% 5% 12%
Mobile 7% +1 6% 0 6% +1 5%

Other countries in this series:
Nigeria | India | Indonesia | South Korea | UK | US | Netherlands | Mexico | Egypt

This is the blog of Peter-Paul Koch, mobile platform strategist, consultant, and trainer. You can also follow him on Twitter.
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