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Cell Phones - Sales, Favorite Brands, Usage

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Cell Phones in Central America: A $590 million business

Between January and June 2017, the region imported $590 million worth of mobile phones, 10% more than the imports in the same period in 2016.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Figures from the information system on the Mobile Phone Market in Central America, compiled by the Business Intelligence Unit at CentralAmericaData:


Main brands  
Among the main brands imported into Central America and according to purchase value are Samsung, Huawei and Apple, which together account for approximately 80% of total imports.

Imports by country 
In the first semester of 2017, the main cell phone buyer in Central America was Guatemala, with $213 million, followed by Costa Rica, with $147 million, El Salvador, with $83 million, Honduras, with $72 million, Panama, with $46 million and Nicaragua, with $29 million. 

Variation of regional imports 
Between the first semester of 2016 and the same period in 2017 the value imported into the region grew by 10%, increasing from $537 million to $590 million.

US purchases went up 30%, going up from $230 million in the first half of last year, to $298 million in the same period in 2017.

Origin of imports 
From January to June 2017, 51% of the value imported in the region came from the USA, 22% from China, 15% from Hong Kong and 8% from Vietnam. 

The USA is the country of origin of Central American imports that has grown the most, since in the first half of 2015 it represented 37% of the total value purchased, and in the same period of 2017 this figure rose to 51%.



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Which are the favorite Cell Phone brands in Central America?

Although Samsung and Apple mobile phones represent more than half of the devices used in the region's markets, there is an upward trend in the preference for devices from the Chinese brand Huawei.

Monday, March 11, 2019

An analysis of the Trade Intelligence Area at CentralAmericaData provides interesting data on the use and preference of cell phone brands in the region.


Three Brands Dominate the Regional Market 
At the regional level, it is estimated that the Samsung, Huawei and Apple brands represent around 85% of the total number of devices used in Central American countries.

LG, Alcatel, Motorola and ZTE, are other brands that represent about 12% of the units used in the region.

In the case of Costa Rica, Samsung and Huawei cell phones represent about 75% of the devices currently in use. Apple and LG devices represent 20% of total units.

In El Salvador, the predominant brands are Samsung, Huawei and Alcatel, with about 77% of appliances in use. The LG devices, Apple and Sony, represent about 20% of the total.

In Guatemala, just over 75% of cell phones in use are Samsung and Huawei, while 17% are Apple, Motorola and LG brands. The devices of the brands Alcatel, ZTE and Sony, register lower consumer preference.

Honduran market figures detail that 74% of cell phones in use are Samsung, Huawei and LG. Apple and Alcatel devices represent 12% of the total, and ZTE, Motorola and Sony phones are used in a smaller proportion.

Data from Nicaragua show that Samsung and Huawei brands represent almost 80% of all cell phones in use. The LG devices, Apple and Alcatel, represent 17% of the total of the local market.

In Panama, Samsung, Huawei and Apple cell phones represent 90% of the total. The devices LG, HTC and Sony, add 7%.



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Panama cell phone banking on a roll


Posted 16/06/2019

Yappy is the new in word for Banco General customers in Panama as it steps up the use of cell phones for transactions.

Yappy links the customer’s cell phone number to the account so that it is not even necessary to enter the digits to transfer money.

To use it, the customer must have an account at the bank, have downloaded the mobile banking application on the cell phone and register as a user of Yappy.

Once inside the is new function, to make a transfer,  the customer only has to select the contact to which the money is to be transferred,s mark the amount and send.

You can also ask for money from another user. There is no limit in the number of transactions, but they must be less than $ 10,000.

"Since  June 4, more than 45,000 customers have registered with Yappy.

It is currently available for personal customers and could evolve in the future to allow payment in shops

 The  National Bank of Panama (BNP) and the Superintendency of Banks hope to conclude this year the project that will allow t settlement in real time. In this way, when a transfer is made between accounts of different banks, it will be reflected immediately and not after hours or days, as is currently the case. The greater agility in the transfer of funds should lead to the popularization of the use of electronic wallets and facilitate transactions between the wallets of different banks.

The Nequi application, created by Banistmo,  has 70,000 active users. Raúl Romero, director of Nequi Digital Banking, explained that with this application a savings account can be opened from the cell phone, with the telephone number being the same account number. The application allows you to send money from cell phone to cell phone, receive funds from any online banking from other banks, pay at allied stores through QR codes, as well as recharge or withdraw funds. You can recharge cell phones, the Panapass, the Panama Metro or pay tickets and the license plate of the vehicle.

Nequi users have the possibility to manage their funds, "creating savings goals, available blocks and separating the expenses of the month in different pockets, which allows them to have total control of their money and generate savings without realizing it", says Romero

Nequi is downloaded from the Android Play Store or the iOS App Store, the Apple operating system. It is not necessary to have a previous account in a bank, only a cell phone number is required, be of legal age and a national or foreign resident.



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  • Moderator_02 changed the title to Cell Phones - Favorite Brands, Usage
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Panama: Number of Cell Phones Up 3%

The number of active cell phones in the country reached 5.43 million between 2018, 3% more than what was reported in 2017, increase explained by the behavior of the number of mobile phones with type of service per contract.

Friday, July 26, 2019

Reports of the General Comptroller of the Republic detail that between 2017 and 2018 the number of active cell phones in the country went from 5,280,195 to 5,432,789, which is equivalent to a 3% variation.

You may be interested in "Cell Phones: $1.2 Billion in Business in 2018

When analyzing the variations of the number of cell phones by type of service, it is reported that for the years concerned the contract ones increased in 14% and the prepaid ones in 9%.

The number of telephone lines in service increased 2%, from 662,588 in 2017 to 673,054 in 2018. In the case of lines per 100 inhabitants, the indicator last year was 16.2.

See numbers of cell phones and telephone lines.



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