Costa Rica Second In The Region In Imports of Cellular Phones

Cell Phones in Central America is a US$590 million business. Between January and June 2017, the region imported 10% more than the imports in the same period in 2016.


The acceptance of new technologies and quick consumer response to new product offers are the main reasons Costa Rica is the second in the isthmus in cellular phone imports, surpassed only by Guatemala.

Guatemala reported US$213 million dollars in purchases between January and June of this year, followed by Costa Rica with US$147.2 million.


For its part, El Salavador reported US$82.6 million, Hondurs US$72 million, Panama US$46.1 million and Nicaragua US$28.7 million, according to the mobile phone market report by CentralAmericanData and Procomer (Promotora de Comercio Exterior de Costa Rica), Costa Rica’s Promoter of Foreign Trade.


The report indicates that Samsung, Huawei and Apple, account for 80% of the market in the region, a market that grew 32% over the same period in 2016.

This behavior has changed the view of brands, choosing to shorten their launch times in the country, which ususally occurred several months after a global launch, as well as launching preorder pages for smartphones or virtual stores, allowing some to be the first for the new devices.

Variation of regional imports

Between the first semester of 2016 and the same period in 2017 the value imported into the region grew by 10%, increasing from $537 million to $590 million.

US purchases went up 30%, going up from $230 million in the first half of last year, to $298 million in the same period in 2017.

Origin of imports

According to Procomer, from January to June 2017, Costa Rica imported most it of the smarphones from four countries: China being the principal supplier with US$80 million, followed by the United States with US$23 million, Vietnam with US$22 million and Hong Kong US$17 million. The rest come from Panama (US$5 million) and other countries (US$2 million).

In the region

In the region the majority of value imported came from the United States (51%), China (22%), Hong Kong (15%) and Vietnam (8%).

The US is the country of origin of Central American imports that has grown the most, since in the first half of 2015 it represented 37% of the total value purchased, and in the same period of 2017 this figure rose to 51%.