The Favorite Mobile Brands of Consumers in Emerging Markets


by Ayaz Nanji

Consumers in emerging markets prefer mobile devices made by Apple and Samsung, according to the results of a recent survey conducted by Upstream and Ovum.

The poll of 4,504 mobile consumers in Brazil, China, India, Vietnam, and Nigeria found that 32% of respondents would ideally like their next device to come from Apple and 29% would prefer it be made by Samsung.

Nokia is the third most-favored brand (13% of respondents), followed far behind by HTC (5.4%), BlackBerry (4.3%), Sony Ericsson (4%), and LG (3.8%).

Manufacturer preference varies significantly by country, age, and gender:

  • Apple’s lead is higher than average in the 16-34 age segment across all markets (36% of respondents favor), as well as with females (34%) and in China (41%).
  • Samsung fares better in the 45+ age segment (36%), as well as in Brazil and India (36% of respondents in each).
  • Nokia’s scores better than average in Vietnam (21%) and India (17%), but below average in Nigeria and China.


Below, additional key findings from the report.

Why Favored

  • When asked why they prefer certain mobile device brands, 46% respondents cited functionality.
  • 24% say they like certain brands because of their aspirational qualities.
  • 12% cited affordability and an equal number said they prefer devices from local brands they trust.
  • There were very few regional, age, and gender differences in the responses to this question, with only slightly higher than average emphasis by the 45+ age segment on brand trust and affordability, and correspondingly lower emphasis on those two factors within the 16-34 age group.

Mobile Content and Apps

  • Regarding mobile content and apps, local brands are seen as being more familiar and relevant.
  • Global brands are seen as providing the best and most up-to-date content in the market.

About the research: The report was based on data from a survey conducted between January 31, 2014 and February 14, 2014 of 4,504 mobile consumers in Brazil, China, India, Vietnam, and Nigeria.