100,000 smartphones are sold each month in Kenya, making it a leading market for smartphones in Sub-Saharan Africa. This can be attributed to the infrastructure setup, cheap internet costs and low cost of entry level smartphones. We have seen prices go as low as $50 for smartphones in the region. This of course reflects on the mobile carrier revenues who see increased growth of data consumption in the country.
Kenya has already hit the 67% mark in the sales of smartphones compared to the total mobile phone sales in the market. This is data from Safaricom, the largest mobile carrier in Kenya which is both the largest devices retailer and with over 85% mobile data market-share. The data used is for data enabled phones. An earlier report by Nokia had the figure at 50% of the total devices currently being sold in the country.
“Safaricom will continue championing for the increased penetration of smartphones from the current 67%, with a view to enabling more Kenyans take advantage of the increasing solutions available for business and personal phones through the devices” Said Peter Arina General Manager Consumer Business unit.
Samsung eats a huge chunk currently with over 400,000 high end devices sold in Kenya last year. Samsung also has a grasp of the market across the devcies range from entry level all through to high end with a smartphone refres rate that can only be rivaled by Nokia, the original king of that title. Nokia is still yet to hit the spot it once held as the big man both in the region and globally.
This can be attributed to the “burning platform” which had serious effects over market-share. But this is seeing a fast reverse as Windows Phone which is the currently fastest growing platform gets accepted worldwide. With the recent announcement of Android powered devices, Nokia aims to tackle the droid rivals from within.
With the smartphone market expected to double in the next two years for the Kenyan and Africa market there is only upwards to look in terms of smartphone growth. This presents a huge competition opportunity for each player in the smartphone market to appeal to consumers who have been consistent in their increased demand for more in a mobile phone.