Get smart: the $60 trend catapulting emerging markets

The advent of low cost smartphones is a game changer in emerging markets (EMs). Whereas in developed markets we already had a fairly extensive network of PCs and laptops, in EMs this was not the case. With low cost smartphones – for as little as $60 – a whole group of EM consumers now have their own personal access point to the internet for the first time. In 2014, the market size for emerging market smartphones outstripped developed markets; and this is feeding through to huge investment opportunities. With mobile affordability as the key enabler, the number of internet users in these markets starts to grow exponentially. Whereas EM consumers previously may have battled with limited retail infrastructure to buy something, they can now purchase with a click of their fingers. This causes us to think about the internet’s potentially disruptive effects upon traditional bricks-and-mortar retailers, and highlights the attractiveness of certain e-commerce companies able to capture the retail and consumption potential.

Naomi Waistell, Newton


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