Smartphone Apps in Español? Not So Much...

Posted: Apr 21 2014

You’ve heard the news. Hispanics overindex on cellphone usage.

And there are approximately 25.5 million Hispanics in the U.S. with smartphones (8% of the U.S. population).

But how many top brands have their apps in Spanish? Well not as many as you would think. AdAge did a study on apps and found of 1,311 top 50 brands only 28% or 369 had Spanish language apps.

No problema – why should that matter? No?

Yes actually.

Hispanics are one of the cultural groups that are most likely to keep their culture even after years of assimilation into the U.S. (This according to a Nielsen study called the Hispanic Market Imperative.) So with 1 in 4 Hispanics stating they would be more interested in learning about a brand and its offerings if the brand had an app in Spanish. It’s a wonder why more brands don’t have apps in Spanish.

No Spanish Language Apps
You’ll be surprised at some of the brands without Spanish language apps. I was… Some of these are brands that typically do cater to a Latino clientele, yet they have no Spanish language apps.
Try: McDonalds, Pepsi, Budweiser, Visa, Gilette

Yes, We Have Spanish Language Apps
For those with Spanish language apps – here are some brands that wouldn’t necessarily come to mind instantly as having Spanish language apps.
Samsung and SAP. Yep, they have Spanish language apps.

Spanish Apps Necessary?
Now you might have the other side of the coin – that would say – is a Spanish app really necessary? Of that 8% - a lot of that group speaks English. Yes, but keep in mind - Hispanic research has shown that Hispanics are one of the cultures in the U.S. that is least likely to lose its cultural identity (read Spanish language).  Additionally – the next step is – even if there is a Spanish language app available…would it even be downloaded by this group? i.e. how many Hispanics use apps? Following is a breakdown of app use by Hispanics on smartphones/and or tablets.

Games- 66%
Social Networking-53%

On average from the above statistics (from – Hispanics are not using their phones to interact with consumer brands such as those we named above (McDonalds, Pepsi, Budweiser…etc.) I mean - we don't see "shopping" or "interacting with brands" on that list.  But on the otherhand - if we take a look say – at those who use their Smartphones for entertainment it would be about 4% of all Hispanics (at 54% of Hispanic usage being on "Entertainment". If I were a consumer brand – I would look at creating some games and/or entertainment apps that revolve around my brand and at the same time that are in Spanish.  In fact tonight I just walked past this restaurant called "Roti" which was advertising an app download where patrons could get reward points.  There's a nice way to not just create excitement around your brand - but also loyalty.

On another note - how about some Spanglish apps?

I love to talk about Hispanic marketing – tell me what you think. staff



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