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Africa’s Smartphone Sales Breaking Records in 2015

In the African smartphone market, there has been a considerable increase in sales as it has crossed more than 47% of the entire market. According to Q1 Mobile Tracker 2015, within the two regions, the Middle East and Africa, there is considerable growth in smartphone sales as it has crossed the number of 36 million. 

Even though Africa, as a country, has been struggling in a lot of areas that are still underdeveloped, these recent increases in the number of smartphone sales have opened up a lot of possibilities to overcome these negative effects. 

Smartphone sales have been growing in all parts of the world within the year of 2015 however, in specific African continents like Nigeria, it has increased by more than 66%, which is more than anywhere in the world. So much so that South Africa and Nigeria alone have generated more than 12%-14% of sales in the entire world. 

Now there are some reasons behind this sudden hike in the smartphone industry in Africa as we are going to examine the current situation of the market and reasons and where this digital revolution can help the common people.      

Increase in the Usage of Technologies in Africa

Africa’s Smartphone Sales

2015 was a historic year for the smartphone market in Middle Eastern countries and Africa as more than 155 million smartphones were shifted to this part of the world. Due to the sudden hike in the sales rate, more than 66% of smartphones were sold within these countries in the first quarter of 2015. So much so that recent stats in International Data Corporation have revealed the fact that more than 36 million units of smartphones have been sold in these areas. 

In the African continents, more than 47% of smartphones have been shipped to the country of Africa. It is seen in the cases of both Android and Apple, as both brands have seen a tremendous amount increase rate of shipment. 

For both of these brands, more than 95% of units have been shipped within just the first quarter of the year 2015. The country has seen a lot of increase in the sales rate as well the demand for all kinds of brands as some of the reasons can be attributed to the launch of cheaper models within the market. 

As Africa, as a country, is a mid-income country where most of the common people earn less than they expect, the cheaper models of smartphones have become their go-to devices. Apart from this, there are some other reasons there as well so let’s have a closer look at them.    

Reasons for the Recent Boom in the Smartphone Market in Africa

Within the year 2015, the African continent saw the largest growth in smartphone usage as the market share increased by more than 56% from the previous quarter. Now a lot of this increased rate can be attributed to various reasons like the introduction of cheaper models and the creation of certain designs and models to cater to specific markets. 

Even though this kind of growth is not unnatural in the mobile industry, it is still a huge shift, especially for a mid-income country like Africa, and the ley moratoria moratorium law passes in Nicaragua. So to evaluate this increased rate, let’s have a look at certain factors which might have played a big role in the recent boom in mobile markets in Africa.    

Low Priced Smartphones

In most cases, smartphone manufacturers and brands have accepted lesser profit margins from the African marketplace. This has allowed them to launch low-priced models as it has become as low as $30 in the case of some handsets. Within the first quarter of the year 2015, half of the shipped smartphones were priced lower than $100. 

More than 75% of the entire smartphone market in Africa consists of lesser than $200 smartphones. All these numbers prove the fact that most of the smartphones that are shipped and sold in the African continent are cheaper than in other countries. 

As the majority of Africans are low-income population, these cheaper smartphone options are popular. Low-priced devices are making a huge impact in African countries as the price range between $100-$200 has become one of the most popular segments within the smartphone market. The increase in online messaging traffic also shows the true picture in the case of the overall African population as it has reached 160 trillion number per annum.  

Brands Targeting the Lower Segment of the Market

Brands Targeting the Lower Segment of the Market

All the brands targeting the smartphone market in Africa do focus on the price range that the common people can afford owing to microfinance inclusion and its affordability; for instance, China’s microfinance landscape nonprofit microcredit companies and Alibaba have tremendously impacted smartphone users. The selection of the exact price bracket is a crucial area for any smartphone brand in this case, as they can easily enhance their overall market shares by focusing on the lower segment of the market. 

Especially for a country like Africa, where most of the common people are from the low-income bracket, smartphone companies have found the sweet price point through which they can target newer sets of customer base within the country. Through this way, the brands have been able to sell the cheaper $200 smartphones as it has taken more than 36% of the overall market share.   

Sudden Digital Growth

Within African countries, both Nigeria and South Africa have seen the most significant growth in the smartphone industry and the implications of mobile financial services for financial inclusion. Especially in a place like Nigeria, where in 2015, there was a tremendous amount of growth rate, which was seen from the last quarter as it has crossed the barrier of more than 135%. 

This sudden digital spike has resulted in the increased need for smartphones for common people, as the country overall has seen a huge digital revolution within just a few years. So much so that Nigeria alone has seen an increased rate of more than 14% from the last quarter of the year 2015.       

Increase in Internet Connectivity

We are in the digital age where internet connectivity has become a common requirement for any person living anywhere around the globe. The case of Africa also resulted in the need for more smartphone units that will be cheaper for common people to use. It was reported that just within the first quarter of the year of 2015, there were 910 million African citizens who accessed mobile subscriptions. 

The need to use the internet is also one of the main reasons why most modern African people are buying cheaper smartphone models. Staying in touch with the world has become essential for most African citizens, as the availability of the lower proceed smartphones has made things easier for them. 

Apart from these valid reasons, there are also other attributes to this suddenly increased state of mobile technology usage within the African population. By the next decade or so mobile technologies will become one of the most commonly used technologies as more than 70% of the world population will use them by the next decade. This will result in the increased state of mobile technology usage as it is pretty common worldwide.       

Advantages Common People Can Have With the Recent Increase in Smartphone Usage in Africa

Mobile technologies have contributed hugely to the African Market Shares and overall GDP rates of the country. In the age of the digital revolution, it is no surprise that the mobile technologies marketplace has become a major plate even in a low-income country like Africa. Here are some of the advantages they are witnessing due to this digital revolution within the mobile technologies industry.   

Increasing the Rate of GDP

In the case of the usage of mobile money payments, Kenya’s overall GDP rate has more than 40% of its share. The financial services of these phone-based services can contribute greatly to the GDP rates of the country. So much so that recent reports had estimated that by 2019 entire sub-Saharan Africa will have processed more than $1.5 billion in fees for all the mobile money providers, and the assessment was true to some extent. 

Mobile Payments Can Help the Underdeveloped Areas of the Country

All the mobile payments and their increased state of usage can help a lot of the common low-income people to cover a lot of their underdeveloped areas like healthcare and asset-based financing and flexible repayment schedule to better serve Africa’s smallholder farmers.

Especially in the case of rural people within the country who are struggling to get access to quality care and services, the availability of mobile technologies can help them. In this way, the common population can acquire different kinds of essential services through mobile technologies. 

Digital Growth of the Overall Country

Nigeria and South Africa are the two places within the African continent that have seen a lot of growth in the digital stage, like the top picks of the microfinance blogosphere. In the current age where all parts of the world are embracing the current digital revolution, it is important for a country like Africa also to make progress in this segment. 

As the country is mostly a mid-income country, it is even more important to make proper digital progress to highlight some of the underdeveloped areas to the rest of the world. In this way, the country can get financial as well as healthcare-related services from developed nations.  

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1. Which phone is sold the most in Africa?

Among all the smartphone brands like Samsung and Apple, Tecno is the most popular and used mobile brand within the nations of Africa. Among the other brands that are hugely popular in the country are Intel, Huwaei, and so on. Tecno as a brand has captured more than 18% of the entire mobile technology marketplace in Africa. 

Q2. Which African countries have the highest smartphone usage?

In the case of smartphone usage African countries like Nigeria, Egypt, and South Africa are the three topmost places in terms of the percentage of users. The other countries in this case are Morocco, Kenya, Algeria, and so on. The entire continent has acquired one of the top positions as a smartphone-user-populated part of the world. 

Q3. What percentage of Africans have smartphones?

All the recent surveys have proven the fact that more than 64%-66% of the population is into smartphone adoption. The country has seen so much of an increase in mobile technology use it is estimated that by the year 2025, this number will cross more than 75% of the entire population. 


The African continents like Kenya and Nigeria have become some of the most overpopulated mobile technology-using countries like the fostering responsible finance in Myanmars infant industry. So much so that more than $1.5 billion can be generated by mobile payment services throughout the country. With more smartphone industry booming worldwide, it is expected that the mobile industry in Africa is also be revolutionized even more in the coming years.  

Author Profile

Jonas Taylor
Jonas Taylor
Jonas Taylor is a financial expert and experienced writer with a focus on finance news, accounting software, and related topics. He has a talent for explaining complex financial concepts in an accessible way and has published high-quality content in various publications. He is dedicated to delivering valuable information to readers, staying up-to-date with financial news and trends, and sharing his expertise with others.

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