Kenya: Smartphone Adoption to Outpace Feature Phone Usage

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Kenyan consumers are steadily warming up to the use of smartphones after some clusters of the country’s population had previously shown reluctance to adopt the devices for several years now.

According to the latest research by GlobalData, a leading analytics company, there will be 20.1 million active smartphone subscriptions in Kenya by the end of 2017. This represents a 16% increase on the previous year.

The company’s research also reveals that by the end of 2022, over 80% of total handsets in Kenya, or 31 million, will be smartphones. This strong growth is driven by an increasing number of low-priced smartphones, such as the Neon Kicka, which costs $34 (Ksh3,500).

“This increase in smartphone numbers matters as Kenya is also home to some of the continent’s most innovative software developers, recently earning its capital the nickname Silicon Savannah,” a spokesperson from the GlobalData Technology Analyst’s team confirmed.

The research says the fact that most Kenyan mobile subscribers are now using smartphones in their daily lives should catalyse further development of home-grown applications and solutions such as the mobile money app, M-Pesa, and mobile solar power solution, M-Kopa.

GlobalData provides insights to 4,000 of the world’s largest companies, including over 70% of Financial Times Stock Exchange (FTSE) 100 and 60% of Fortune 100 companies.


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