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Smartphone penetration hits 30% in Nigeria

By Adeyemi Adepetun
08 July 2016   |   1:10 am
Penetration of mobile phones remained on the upward swing with about 94 per cent penetration in Nigeria.


Penetration of mobile phones remained on the upward swing with about 94 per cent penetration in Nigeria.

However, statistics from Africa Infotech Consulting (AIC) showed that smartphone penetration has increased gaining about 30 per cent penetration with features phones having a 70 per cent penetration.

AIC presented the statistics at the just concluded Nigeria International Technology Exhibition and Conference (NITEC).

Shortly before his exit from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), mid last year, the former Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of the commission, Dr. Eugene Juwah, had at a function in Lagos claimed that smartphone penetration in the country was just 12 per cent.

But Statista, a statistics Portal estimated that for 2016 alone, Nigeria is likely to have about 15.5 million new users.

In his presentation at NITEC, the current EVC of NCC, Prof Umar Danbatta, revealed that there are 722 million mobile phones in Africa, with 127 million being smartphones.

Danbatta, represented by NCC’s Director of Public Affairs, Tony Ojobo, said by mid-2015, there were 1,158, 355, 663 with Internet users climbing to 330,965, 359 by November.

According to him, globally, Facebook has over 1.5 billion users monthly with about 798 million accessing the site on their mobile phones, adding that WhatsApp has over 700 million users who are sending over 30 billion messages everyday.

Danbatta revealed that there are over 302 million monthly users of Twitter, with Instagram having over 300 million active users per month.

He said LinkedIn has over 332 million registered members with PInterest having 70 million users with 56 per cent of them being females.

Meanwhile, as at last year’s profiling of countries that love smartphones by eMarketer, Nigeria was ranked 17th. The country was said to have 23.1 million smartphones in 2015, a figure projected to increase to 34 million in 2018.

Out of the 25 countries profiled by eMarketer, a digital market analytical platform, China leads the table with 574.2 million smartphones out of the 1,914.6 billion smartphone in the world in 2015. US followed China with 184.2 million, while Argentina is the least on the table with 12.6 million smartphones.

The analytical company said it bases all of its forecasts on a multipronged approach that focuses on both worldwide and local trends in the economy, technology and population. “We analyze quantitative and qualitative data from a variety of research firms, government agencies, media outlets and company reports, weighting each piece of information based on methodology and soundness,” the company added.

eMarketer estimates that over one-third of consumers worldwide, or more than 2.56 billion people, will have access to smartphone. That 2018 figure also represents over half—51.7 per cent—of all mobile phone users, meaning that feature phones will have finally become a minority in the telecommunications world.

eMarker believes that inexpensive smartphones are opening new opportunities for marketing and commerce in emerging markets like Nigeria, where many consumers previously had no access to the Internet.