Mobile Advertising in Latin America: What’s on Trend

Want to reach mobile consumers in Latin America? Android is your best bet, but iOS isn’t too far behind. This and other revelations came to light last week with the release of data gathered by StartMeApp measuring mobile ad impressions on its platform.

The AdSMART Quarterly Report contemplates information from 2012 and the first quarter of 2013 to examine the lay of the mobile advertising land worldwide. StartMeApp, which delivers 10 billion ad impressions each month, broke down its data to discover major trends and developments in the mobile advertising industry.


Globally, tablets are on the rise, due in large part to the decline of feature phones running on the Symbian OS. A total of 122.3 tablets were sold worldwide in 2012, and that number is expected to rise to 172.4 million this year, by 2016 hitting 282.7 million. iOS rules the roost in the tablet arena, but Android and Windows are expected to gain ground in the years to come.

Smartphones, Android Ahead in LatAm, Mexico a Game Changer

In Latin America, the device situation tells a different story. In fact, the increase of smartphone mobile ad impressions in the first quarter of this year was greater than that of tablets.

While smartphone ad impressions worldwide remained stagnant at 63%, in Latin America, they increased from 54% in 2012 to 59% in the first quarter of 2013. Given the quick clip at which the region’s smartphone penetration is expanding, this doesn’t exactly come as a surprise.

Though tablets may not be the most prominent device regionally, they are on the rise as well – especially in Mexico. Tablet share of impressions in Latin America increased from 3% in 2012 to 7% now; however, excluding Mexico, that growth rate is actually cut in half, up just 2% from last year to 5%.


So what operating systems are coming out ahead regionally? Following global trends, Symbian is on the out, falling from 37% in 2012 to 30% during the first quarter of this year. Feature phones are on the decline as well, their impression share falling 9% to 34%.

iOS, on the other hand, is gaining ground, up 4% to 24% of ad impressions. This is due, in large part, to its popularity in Mexico (excluding Mexico, iOS is up just 2% regionally). Android remains the leader, with a 45% ad impression share (up 3% from 2012).


Notably, StartMeApp’s highest growth region during 2012 was Latin America, with a 225% jump in mobile ad impressions on the platform. North America, at 212%, was not far behind.

A Look at Global Trends

Globally, the AdSMART report paints a different picture. Alejandro Campos Carles, Co-Managing Director and Founder of StartMeApp, analyzed the scenario:

On the StartMeApp platform worldwide, Android has proved to be the leading operating system to date in the delivery of mobile ad impressions for our advertising clients, with just under half of  all ad impressions corresponding to smartphones and tablet devices running the Android OS.

While the share of impressions for tablets running Android and other non-iOS operating systems grew significantly during 2012 and Q1-2013, StartMeApp has begun to see significant  increases in Q1 and Q2 2013 in the iOS share of ad impressions on our platform. Given StartMeApp´s ongoing expansion into both the iOS stronghold of North America and the European market for mobile advertising, we expect ad impressions corresponding to Apple phones and tablet devices on our platform to steadily increase throughout 2013.

Android gained 5% in its share of ad impressions worldwide during the first quarter of the year to reach 44%. iOS increased 1% to hit 26%, and the share retained by Symbian and feature phones fell across all markets.