The International Data Corporation estimates that about 1.2 billion mobile phones were shipped worldwide, between 2013 and the first quarter of 2014. We don’t know what exact percentage of that figure was en-route to Africa. We know it’s probably huge. The African market is a mobile hungry market. What would be interesting to know is which is the dominant Operating System on these devices. Again, Global Stats from Statcounter comes to our aid.
Here’s what the Mobile OS landscape looks like for Africa.
Android clearly has Africa. There was a slight dip in marketshare between September and November of 2013 but after then, there has been no looking back for Android. Series 40, the once leading OS that powers the Asha range of devices has been on steady decline since September of 2013. And there doesn’t seem to be any hope. Microsoft now owns Nokia’s mobile division and the new management is rumoured to have plans to kill the Series 40 Asha line in favour of Windows Phone .
One interesting entry on the graph is unknown OS category. We believe the multitude of Asian origin aka “Chinko” phones that run on custom Java OSes fall under this category. In all, it appears cost is a major determinant in who gets the larger share of the African Mobile OS space. The top 3 OSes are very common on cheap phones everyone can afford. But it is still quite interesting that Android comes on top. Feature phones are supposed to drive the most sales as they are the cheapest of the lot. But Android powered devices happen to dominate. Price parity is becoming increasingly evident. As the price of feature and smart phones continue to intersect, people will start dropping their feature phones for smartphones. And smartphone platform of choice is none other than the ubiquitous Android.
The trend depicted in the graph above appears to cascade down to individual African countries.
South Africans still love their Blackberrys