On March 15th, Africa’s leading online shopping platform Jumia released its Mobile Week 2018 white paper. The report noted that out of 420 million mobile phone subscribers in Africa, 100 million own a smartphone and this number is expected to double in the next two years.
Jumia attributes the growth in mobile phone connections and particularly smartphones to affordability and uptake of Internet services like Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter and Instagram. It further notes that smartphones Internet traffic will grow 12X across Africa over the next 5 years.
Below are some of the key highlights i picked from the report:
Mobile penetration in Kenya
New entrants in the Kenyan market such as Hong Kong-based Transsion Holdings through its brands: Tecno, Itel and Infinix have pushed mobile penetration through aggressive marketing strategies.
Transsion continues to hold the top spot during the Q4 2017 in a report released by International Data Corporation (IDC) as the biggest smartphone and feature vendor in Kenya with a market share of 58% and 63 % market share respectively, while Tecno and Infinix dominate the smartphone segment. Tecno and Itel dominate the feature phone segment. Samsung has a market share of 17% driven by its economically priced J-series.
The Smartphone industry according to the report is expected to see moderate reductions in mobile prices as other new entrants such as Oppo, Vivo and Xiaomi officially expand into Kenya.
Smartphones adoption set to increase internet connectivity
Globally there are about 4 million Internet users with 250 million new users in the year 2017, demonstrating a 20% year on year growth. Kenya has about 86% of its population using internet and this is mainly driven by a robust internet infrastructure and affordable smartphones.
Jumia says in the report that it sold OVER 250 000 PHONES IN 2017 an increase of 25% over 2016. It says smartphones accounted for 97% of all phones sold and 68% of sales taking place in Nairobi.
Kenya is also the market leader in share of Internet traffic coming from mobile phones at 83% having overtaken Nigeria which follows at 81%.
Smartphones are also be said to have contributed to better living standards as they are an essential tool to financial inclusion and a huge variety of useful services. This is mainly driven by services such Mpesa which has 27 million users and digital credit offerings by new entrants; Branch Tala and Okash.
The report notes that about 194 000 households were lifted out of poverty by 2014 when they actively transacted via Mpesa.
In January this year, the Communication Authority (CA) announced the start of a pilot between the country’s Telco’s to enable subscribers to send money to each other seamlessly across platforms – whether via MPESA, Airtel Money or Telkom’s money transfer service, T-Kash – on their handsets. This is expected to increase mobile money transactions in the country.
Kenya has about 25 digital credit providers launching new services every month. They provide households with opportunities to access liquidity by using credit on your phone to create a score with branch giving loans of about $ 4million and is one of the most downloaded apps in Kenya.