Wednesday, September 1, 2010 6:20 AM EDT
By IB Times Staff Reporter
Internet users in the BRICI countries - Brazil, Russia, India, China, and Indonesia - is set to exceed 1.2 billion by 2015, well over three times the rates of the U.S. and Japan combined, according to a report by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG).
This growth will be driven by BRICI Internet-penetration growth rates of 9 percent to 20 percent annually from 2009 through 2015. While mobile phones with Internet access will support growth, personal computers will double in the BRICI countries to more than 920 million in 2015, according to the report.
In 2009, the BRICI countries represented about 45 percent of the world’s population and about 15 percent of global GDP, and had some 610 million Internet users.
“The Internet is already having a fundamental impact on consumption patterns, and the patterns we’re seeing are significantly different from those in the United States and Japan,” said report coauthor David Michael, who heads BCG’s Global Advantage practice.
Despite similarities across user segments, however, digital markets in Brazil and Russia are more advanced than those in India and Indonesia, and China is far beyond its fellow BRICI markets.
According to the report, social networking is more popular in Indonesia and Brazil than in any of the other BRICI countries. And while an extremely high percentage of Indian digital consumers use e-mail, Chinese Internet users have gravitated toward instant messaging.
PC penetration rates in Brazil and Russia are expected to exceed 50 percent in 2015. Currently, the penetration in Brazil and Russia is around 32 percent, while in China it is only about 20 percent. India and Indonesia have PC penetration rates of only about 5 percent. Comparatively, it is about 90 percent or more in the United States and Japan.
Internet cafes and mobile phones will also act as important means of digital access. Mobile phones are expected to be used more than the PC’s mainly because of low average disposable incomes in many parts of the BRICI countries.
“The commercial opportunities in these digital markets are rapidly evolving,” said report coauthor Yvonne Zhou, a principal in BCG’s Beijing office, “and the presence of strong local competitors in many of these markets means that the ‘incumbent’ digital-market leaders in the United States and Europe should not take success in the BRICI countries for granted.”