With a population of over 1.3 billion people, Africa is the second largest continent in the world and the resurgence of consuming middle class has caught the attention of global OEM players who see attractive market for their range of smart phones in the continent.


Currently, there are about 127.5 million smartphone users on the African continent according to Michael Dearham, Vice President Media for StarTimes Group.

Burgeoning smart phone penetration

At first glance, the middle-east countries show an impressive smart phone penetration figures when pit against Africa’s major smart phone markets but analysts have argued that percentage penetration figures do not always reflect the actual number of actual users in a market.

A clear instance will be the 2015 UAE smart phone penetration figure of 64.6 per cent only represents in human terms, 2.7 million smart phone users.

Compare the figure to Nigeria’s smart phone user base for the same year and the difference is glaring, 23.1 million users (eMarketer).

He said: “We foresee a lot more smart phone users in Africa than in the middle-east by year 2035. Two main factors will influence the number of smart phone users in the market. One is the sheer size of the market and the second factor is the high influx of budget smart phone into markets in Africa.”

Mid-range smart phones drive internet penetration in Africa

As competition gets stiffer, mobile makers entering the Africa markets hinge their entrant strategy around shipment of quality mid-range smart phones into the market.

A survey of market competition by TECNO revealed that one hundred dollar to two hundred dollar ($100-$200 dollar) range smart phones dominated mobile new entrants into the African market year-on-year.

“The competition in Africa mobile space is driving the ownership of smart phones up and it is has enormous socio-economic benefits to the continent as it deepens the telecoms value chain and also facilitate better learning through easy and accessible internet,” reiterates TECNO Chief marketing officer Attai Oguche.

The TECNO brand in the span of a decade has become one of Africa’s most successful mid-range smart phone brands with growing shipment of mid-range product lines such as TECNO BOOM J and TECNO CAMON series.

The mobile multinational began rolling out its flagship series, the Phantom sometime in 2013 and the high end product gained market acceptance. Fast track to two successive releases later and in fourth quarter 2015, the TECNO Phantom5 was released as one of pioneer octa-core processor smart phones to hit retail shelves in African markets.

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