Affordable entry-level devices key driver of smartphone adoption in Kenya

Jumia has released its 2019 White Paper report ahead of its Mobile Week scheduled to run from the 22nd to 31st of March. The report takes a look at the country’s mobile market and key drivers driving smartphone adoption in the market.

The white paper now in its 5th edition and notes continuous decrease in average price of smartphones over the last three years. The average amount spent to purchase a smartphone on Jumia in 2014 stood at around Ksh.18,600, which reduced to Ksh.9,700 in 2016 and Ksh.8,600 in 2018. The rise of affordable entry-level devices from brands continues to be a key driver of the increased smartphone adoption.

According to the Jumia White Paper 2019, the smartphone industry has remained a truly competitive landscape throughout the years, with Chinese brands dominating both Kenyan and African markets. Among the top mobile brands on Jumia in 2018, Infinix dominated the sales (for the past three years). Xiaomi and Huawei were seen as strong new entrants, gaining 5% and 9% market share on Jumia respectively, within 2018.

The Jumia White Paper 2019 notes that despite the prices of smartphones going down, users in Kenya continue to focus on specifications along with brand perception and quality. This has resulted in brands offering higher specs at lower pricing. We have seen Huawei doing this, especially with their Y series smartphones.

Other factors that have driven growth in mobile subscriptions include more affordable smartphones & declining mobile data plans.

Mobile Money

In 2018 Jumia says, 70% of all transactions made on its platform were done through mobile money and rest 30% through other payment methods including cash on delivery and card payments.

There are currently 47.6M active mobile money accounts in Kenya, which accounted for a transaction value of $3.6Bn dollars in 2018 alone; accessed through more than 200,000 agents.

‘’This highlights the impact of the 11-year-old innovation pioneered by M-Pesa in driving financial inclusion and the race to turn mobile phones into banks for the unbanked” the report says.

Click here to read the report.

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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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