First Things First – Father’s day in Latin America

June 21st is Father’s day for all top LATAM (Latin America) markets, except Brazil which is in August.     This day has traditionally been a big date for technology promotions and sales. This date along with Mother’s day, which is in May, makes second quarter the 2nd most important quarter for device sales in LATAM.   However, this year, once again, father’s day has been shadowed by a football/soccer championship. Last year, it was the World Cup, and this year it is “La Copa America” The America Football Cup. This tournament is also carried out every four years. And first things first, looking at the amount of promotions for either event, it is clear that football is definitely more important than father’s day in LATAM.

Claro-Telcel (AMX) is the official sponsor of the “Copa America” tournament; therefore, all its promotions are mainly focused on supporting the “Copa America” theme such as apps, roaming, and data.    Movistar (Telefonica) has also enforced its presence by sponsoring few countries national football team.

Last year, most of the father’s day’s promotions has gone unseen behind Football World Cup’s promotions. Furthermore, retail and some brands were primarily focused on selling TV, rather than mobile devices. This year, the promotions are more diverse targeting both TV, games consoles and mobile devices.

Retailers are mostly partnering with device vendors offering between 2-4 devices with up to 50% discount. All promoted devices are either entry or 4G smartphones. Samsung, LG, Lenovo and Motorola are the regional brands that have been leading promotions.

Another promotional trend, is installment payments that goes from 12 up to 24 installments. This is a way to replace further reductions of subsidies in Colombia and Mexico. Claro Colombia for example, launched the benefit of a 24 installments plan, for any device in postpaid plan, either new lines or renewal.  Most Mexico retailers are offering between 15%-20% discount on unlocked mobile devices for father’s day.

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Only few operators across the region have some father’s day promotions, and mostly focusing on increasing data usage. For example, Movistar Peru is promoting prepaid, 4G smartphones with 500MB of data give away. Telcel Mexico together with Lanix is offering a smartphone with triple mega of data.

Overall, this year’s emphasis has been, either on prepaid or postpaid plan, 4G smartphones and rising usage of data. This father’s day promotion certainly supports our forecast for this year, that more than 80% of the devices sold in LATAM will be smartphones, meanwhile LTE capable devices will triple from the 2014 volume.