Smartphone adoption on the upswing in Nigeria

The number of Nigeria’s mobile subscribers has reached 150 million, and the number of its internet users has climbed to 97.2 million at penetration rates of 81% and 53%, respectively, according to a new report published by Jumia, Nigeria’s largest online retailer. For context, Africa has 960 million mobile subscribers and 216 million internet users at penetration rates of 80% and 18%, respectively. The increased mobile internet appetite in Nigeria comes down to several factors:

  • Acess to better and cheaper smartphones is driving smartphone adoption. The average price of mobile phones on Jumia dropped to $117 from $216 in 2014. Additionally, smartphone sales increased by 394% on Jumia from 2014-2016.
  • The mobile network ecosystem is improving. The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) efforts have already shown improvements in service in the first quarter of 2017.
  • Users have access to “lite” mobile applications, which require less data. Customers in Nigeria have lower incomes and many of the mobile data packages offered are cost prohibitive. For example, Nigerian smartphone users tend to use Opera mini, a lite version of the Opera mobile browser, more often than they use Google Chrome, which is the most popular mobile browser globally. The availability of data-saving mobile services makes mobile usage more alluring to consumers.


Nigeria’s growing mobile internet user base speaks to its market potential. Nigeria currently has 62.2 million and 52.1 million more internet and mobile users than Egypt, respectively. It also outpaces Kenya by 65.3 million and 110.78 million internet and mobile users, respectively. Besides Nigeria, Egypt and Kenya are among the biggest markets in Africa. E-commerce, applications, and video streaming services could capitalize by developing a presence in Nigeria. Further, localized and foreign players should look to enter before the competitive landscape becomes saturated.

The communications market is in the midst of an all-out war. The deluge of messaging apps, such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, WeChat, and Viber, have over-run the segment traditionally owned by SMS and a massive revenue generator for wireless carriers.

And consumers are beginning to view these chat apps not as messaging platforms but as portals to the internet. This is threatening the control Google and Apple have over the mobile ecosystem via Android and iOS. And while Apple addressed this concern with the introduction of iMessage in 2011, Google has largely left Android’s messaging capabilities up to phone makers and carriers to deal with.

For their part, device manufacturers are looking for the newest technology to make their products more appealing than the next vendor’s, as the smartphone market becomes increasingly competitive. Their hunger for improved native messaging capabilities is one of the contributing forces driving the evolution of native messaging.

An emerging messaging standard called Rich Communications Services (RCS) is showing promise as a solution for these players. Google is wagering that RCS will make Android more competitive with iOS while improving the attractiveness of the OS’s native messaging client compared with chat apps.

Laurie Beaver, research analyst for BI Intelligence, Business Insider’s premium research service, has compiled a detailed report on the Android messaging evolution that explores how Google, carriers, and OEMs can take advantage of the new standard to drive revenue, increase user engagement, and improve the overall messaging experience. Finally, it looks at the target markets for RCS and the required steps to drive adoption.

Here are some of the key takeaways from the report:

  • An emerging tech standard called Rich Communication Service (RCS) will power Android’s next-generation native messaging app, giving Android smartphone users a more powerful alternative to SMS.
  • RCS will enable Android Messaging users to send larger, higher-quality images, as well as share their location information and make video calls by default. Android users currently rely on over-the-top messaging apps like Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp to access these features.
  • The strategic implications of Google’s embrace of RCS are profound, making Android “stickier” and giving it a competitive edge.
  • Adopting RCS will have knock-on effects across the mobile ecosystem. Because Android’s user base is so massive, these may be profound and vary from player to player.

In full, the report:

  • Explains what RCS is and why it’s important.
  • Explores the different ways Google, carriers, developers, and phone makers can access, utilize, and distribute content via RCS.
  • Outlines the steps needed for encourage RCS adoption by global carriers and phone makers.
  • Looks at the potential barriers that could limit the growth, adoption, and use of RCS.
  • And much more.


Source : Business Insiders

Article selected by F. Bailleul / Lillybelle

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