Arturo Galván, CEO of Naranya – a Mexico based mobile internet specialist, points out in a recent article in that “The Latin American mobile market is huge. It’s half of the size of the Chinese market – both are a massive opportunity.”  Thanks to smartphones, the population is rapidly coming online and becoming an attractive market for apps distribution. But don’t think Google Play will get you there.

Google’s issues are first and foremost related to payment options. Google offers primarily payments through credit or debit cards. But card billing will not get you far in Latin America – while carrier billing will:
LatAm Banking penetration (World Bank Financial Inclusion)Source: World Bank Financial Inclusion

Despite recent efforts by Google’s partner, Bango, they are still short of the network of payments a player like Naranya can offer (the two Mexican operators covered by Bango only have 12% market share).

The growth in mobile in Latin America is phenomenal, and the two most interesting markets from a revenue standpoint are Brazil and Mexico.  The markets not only vary in culture, but also in terms of purchasing power and how you should structure your pricing:

LatAm IAP (Fortumo)

Source: Fortumo

Keep in mind that prepaid subscriptions is very popular in the region, thus you want to make sure your charging does not drain too much of the users balance (i.e. charge less and more often instead if you can). And if your app is text heavy, and you have not invested in localization – forget it, English simply will not cut it:

LatAm English (Fortumo)

Source: Fortumo

However, if your app does not rely much on text, you can concentrate your efforts around your marketing assets. Translating your text from English to Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese should cost you on average no more than $75-$150. Of course it depends on the length of your text, but if you use partners like (who are also integrated with CodeNgo – you can order your translations directly), you are sure to get it professionally and correctly presented (yes, we do not like automated translations. Not at all).  This is well worth the investment in order for your app to succeed in this huge market.

We are happy to announce that we will soon be supporting the Naranya market in our suite of stores.  Stay tuned!

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