Digital & Mobile Trends in Ecuador


After the digital shopping trends in Colombia, our next article explores one of the fastest growing economies within the Andean Region and its internet, mobile and digital purchase trends: Ecuador

Ecuador’s digital economy on the rise

Before we take a closer look at the dynamic mobile industry in Ecuador, we need to point out one interesting fact that will help us understand the potentials this economy has. Like Panama and El Salvador, Ecuador adopted the U.S. dollar as its official currency in 2000. But in December 2014, as the government announced, a yet-unnamed digital currency will be introduces, stored largely on users’ mobile devices[1]. The public opinion remains divided, as the government promotes safe storage and transaction of money for those outside the bank-based economy, while some economists warn that it could shake the stability and wealth expansion in Ecuador. One thing remains sure, this will be an important experiment for both local and global economy, and we will continue to observe it closely.

Ecuador is one of the fastest growing economies in the region and it follows the global trends when it comes to mobile industry: in 2014 mobile base has reached 17 million, or 113% penetration rate, while the number of smartphone owners has doubled in just 2 years[2]. The smartphone growth rate is now close to 140 % according to National Institute Statistics and Census (INEC).

Ecuador is in its developing stages of ecommerce and mobile commerce, and it shows positive signs of potential growth. Mobile content is expected to become very popular with the increase in smartphones penetration and also the nation’s goal to improve Internet connectivity throughout Ecuador.

Internet Access & Penetration in Ecuador

In 2012, 35.1% of the Ecuador’s populationwas using the internet. This is a number that had grown 190.7% during the previous 5 years. Test results measuring internet speed in 2013 showed an average of 1.57 Mbps download and 1.64 Mbps upload speeds across all mobile, tablet, and desktop devices tested.

Seeing the potential growth in e-commerce and mobile commerce, Ecuador developed a national digital strategy in 2011 called ¨”The Digital Strategy 2.0 Ecuador.” It was presented by Telecommunications and Information Society Minister, Jaime Guerrero Ruiz. The goal is to provide Internet access to at least half of the households in Ecuador by 2015. Currently, 55% of people in Ecuador use the internet at least once per day, while 39.5% use it once a week. In urban areas, 57% of people in Ecuador use the Internet at least once a day, while in rural areas 51.6% use the Internet once per week.

Without a doubt, having better internet access will improve these numbers and will give a needed boost to the mobile commerce industry in Ecuador as consumers will have an incentive to adopt smartphones and will also have the proper tools and internet connectivity to access and purchase digital goods.

Ecuador: Mobile Penetration & Smartphone Trends

It’s no secret that the decrease in price of smartphones has greatly influenced its adoption worldwide, especially in the Andean Region.

Of all the different smartphones available in the current market, Android is the most dominant throughout Latin America. According to research by StatsCounter, the following are numbers of smartphone adoption in Ecuador between April and June 2013:

  • 40% Android
  • 20% iOS
  • 14% Nokia
  • 11% Blackberry


Mobile User behaviour in Ecuador

According to research, men in Ecuador (52.9%) are more likely to own a mobile phone than women (47.1%). 11.7% of mobile phone owners are between the ages of 16 and 24, and 11.5% aged between 25 to 34.

32.6% of the population uses the Internet to communicate with family and friends, while 31.1% use it for seeking information.

INEC gathered interesting data published in May this year, showing that more than 1 million users access social media from their devices.


When it comes to app usage, according to App Annie, the top free downloaded iOS apps are Facebook messenger and Instagram, two apps that are primarily used for connecting with friends and family by sending instant messages or images.  These apps are followed by gaming and entertainment apps.


Free Paid Grossing
Facebook Messenger Plague Inc Candy Crush Saga
Instagram Password for WhatsApp messenger Clash of Clans
Free Music Download – mp3 Time-tangle Spotify Music
Angry Birds Stella Angry Birds The Paradise Cove
YouTube Spotify Premium Kim Kardashian: Hollywood


Neomobile in Ecuador

Neomobile has played a key role in developing local market in Andean region by opening the office in Bogotá in 2012 and putting forward our monetization expertise and successful business models we use globally.

If you want to know more about the 2014 mobile market in Colombia including country stats and trends visit our web site or check out our Blog post Digital shopping trends: Colombia

Stay tuned for more articles covering local digital shopping trends!