How Argentina and Vietnam Became Hubs for Mobile Growth

The global app economy is tipped to grow at $6.3 trillion by the year 2021, this includes in-app purchases and in-app ads. This is going to be the same time when the overall user base growth for mobile apps will increase to the same figure. Such high demand definitely pushes the investment, education and job sector towards an exceptional growth. Developing economies are going to enjoy the most in such an environment.

App business lets you start off with very little investment as there is no role of infrastructure initially. Developing economies get a lot of ease while leveraging for app based business. Argentina and Vietnam can be shown as the best examples here.

How does the app economy fare in Vietnam?

Vietnam is said to be the number one nation in Southeast Asia when it comes to app based economy. It has a population of 95 million and many people are engaged in developing apps. The app economy of Vietnam is expected to double by 2020 to a staggering figure of $57 billion.

If you look closely the Vietnamese people have moved on from desktops and have started using mobile apps extensively for their day to day tasks and work. iPhone and Samsung take the lead here and Asus and Xiaomi are fighting well.

The key to capture people’s attention here lies with the types of apps people love using. Localized content in social messaging apps have worked very well with the people. Many people rate Zalo, a messaging app as their top favorite with Facebook and Viber showing great competition.

Users in Vietnam have also shown keen interest in music apps but utility apps aren’t much taken into consideration. You won’t see too many people making app purchases unlike the neighboring markets. Games and technology are the top mobile category while mobile video is growing pretty fast.

Overall, we would say that the app economy in Vietnam is showing healthy progress with plenty of opportunities knocking at the door. The market here is safe and strong and charts out a limited yet very particular user niche. People in Vietnam love messaging and gaming apps in particular. This consumer behavior helps new entrants set a good strategy.

What does Argentina offer?

You have a cent percent smartphone user penetration and an overall GDP contribution of about $26 billion by 2020 (up by 24% in almost 5 years), the app market in Argentina is soaring very well! Considering all devices like PC, mobile and tabs, people in Argentina spend over 4.25 hours each day on social media. The figures here rank Argentina as number one users of social media. It also ranks the best in online video consumption.

It was the iPhone launch in 2007, when the investment in tech startup started getting popular. Since then foreign investors started making financing centers in Argentina. Sudden surge in investments led to opening up of universities, telecom partnering, mobile tech research and financing in the software and IT industry. People realized the power of technology.

Unlike Vietnam which focuses on app usage, Argentina is a little more inclined towards app development. Argentina focuses itself in realizing the power of app based payment system. The economy has recreated itself with digital payment.

There is an estimate of 32,300 jobs in the app business. Argentina is now a strong option for Western countries looking for low cost offshore investments. People use Android devices more than iOS devices in Argentina. There is also a liking for messaging, utility and social media apps. WhatsApp and Facebook are very popular, banking and travel apps are used widely too.

The economy here too went through some turmoil. Initially Argentina had an export based model, but then it stayed away from world economy for a certain period of time. This made investors choose not to invest in Argentina.  Startups could not let worldwide tech giants invest in them. There was a hurdle for app business growth.

After reopening itself to worldwide economies Argentina came back strong. It has now produced some of Latin America’s best honchos like OLX, Mercadolibre, Blobant, Etermax etc.

There is a great momentum for local developers in today’s scenario in Argentina. The country’s reliance on agriculture is about 8% of GDP, there is a dedicated industry developing for apps that help farmers and others in the food chain manage livestock, complete crop diagnostics, and even get market information and reports.


The app economy in Vietnam is growing strongly. Mobile ad spend will rise to 67% of the annual digital total by the year 2018. Local developers will get better opportunities to monetize their apps.

Argentina has its fair struggle left too. There is still a shortage of investors  in the mid-stage of app development. But even after all this, 2015 brought a lot of change for Argentinian developers. President Mauricio Marci lifted a lot of restriction on currency control and removed export taxes. Localized content offering is on the rise both in Argentina and Vietnam and this is what is keeping the app business alive in both these countries. Peopl are liking content which are tailor made for them.

Like their bigger regional neighbors, India and Brazil,  the mobile app economies of Vietnam and Argentina offer distinct opportunities for publishers and developers with keen insight into local markets and business connections to the rest of the world.


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