Jumia: Demand for smartphones increases in Kenya, expected to double over the next 2 years.

Kenya is considered one of the leading markets for smartphones in Africa with connections rapidly growing in recent years and are expected to double over the next 2 years. This is according to the Jumia Mobile Week 2018 White paper released on Thursday.  

The report also notes that the demand for smartphones in Kenya has gone up with mobile subscription recently surpassing the 40 million subscriptions in 2017 to stand at 41 million.

The demand according to the White Paper has been driven by the arrival of brands like Transsion who a recent report released by International Data Corporation (IDC) noted continue to lead the smartphone category in  Q4 2017 with 30.4% share in Africa, followed closely by Samsung on 27.0%. Transsion is home to Infinix, Tecno and Itel smartphone brands.

‘’Whilst Tecno and infinix dominate the smartphone segment. Tecno and Itel dominate the feature phone segment. Samsung as a 17% market share (by volume) driven by it’s economically priced J-series.’’ the report says.

Other smartphones makers and vendors are also betting on this increased demand to drive sales and grow their market share.

By 2020 Africa is expected to have more than 500 million unique mobile subscribers. In Sub-Saharan Africa alone, mobile generated 7.7% of GDP.

‘’This contribution is expected to rise to $142 billion, equivalent to 8.6% of GDP, by 2020 as countries benefit from improvements in productivity and efficiency brought about by increased take-up of mobile services.’’

This trend, along with the uptake of internet services, is driving demand for digital content and results in an increase in mobile data traffic which is forecast to grow 12x across Africa over the next 5 years. In fact, Jumia Kenya says for the first time ever in 2018, it has seen more orders coming from mobile devices (this includes mobile web and app) than desktop.

‘’This reflects the growing importance of the smartphone, and trust in the Jumia brand (as customers less often feel the need to have a bigger screen to make their purchase decision),’’ it says

In terms of internet connectivity, Kenya continues to be a leader driven by a robust internet infrastructure and affordable smartphones. A recent report by the Communications Authority of Kenya notes that 86% of the countries population has access to the internet. What this means is that 43 million Kenyans are now classified as internet users.  

The Jumia Mobile White Paper 2018 was released ahead of the Jumia Mobile week scheduled for March 19th-25th.

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Nixon Kanali

Tech journalist based in Nairobi. I track and report on tech and African startups. Founder and Editor of TechTrends Media. Nixon is also the East African tech editor for Africa Business Communities. Send tips to

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