Kenya Has The Highest Internet Penetration In Africa. Good or Bad?

Kenya Has The Highest Internet Penetration In Africa. Good or Bad?

High smart phone penetration

High adoption of smartphone has pushed Kenya’s internet penetration ahead of its peers in Africa, with a penetration of 83%, a bigger fraction of the population accesses the internet compared to those in other countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.

As technology evolves to more unconventional platforms and information becomes even more liquid, the emergent threats are depictive of these changes. Ranging from Communication, Business, Money transfer and Entertainment, mobile phones have become a necessity in our day to day life.

According to Business Today, Kenya is leading in terms of smartphone penetration at 91% compared to Africa’s 83% overtaking Nigeria which, was at the top in 2017.

With the rising popularity of mobile services and its necessity to help improve our lives, there has been a major demand for mobile subscriptions. This has subsequently contributed to the high purchase of more smart phones.

Chinese models

In Kenya, and Africa by extension, there has been a proliferation of Chinese phone brands. According to a recent study by Research 8020, the top five mobile phone brands in Kenya are as follows:

  1. Tecno 20%
  2. Samsung 17%
  3. Huawei 17%
  4. Infinix 13%
  5. Oppo 9%

All these are Chinese brands with exception of Samsung. The popularity of Chinese brands is mainly associated with cost. Chinese models phones offer the same ‘look and feel’ as the aspirational brands but at a fraction of the cost. With a highly price sensitive market like Kenya, the popularity of these cheaper alternatives is not about to slow down.

Why you shouldn’t rush to create an app for your business

There is no doubt that Chinese brands are more affordable. However, what everyone is not puting into consideration, is that the reduction of cost is done at the expense of durability and specifications. Certain important features such as space are largely compromised in cheaper models.

A 4GB storage, for instance, almost leaves the user with almost no wiggling room to install apps and as such, most users limit themselves to the most ‘vital’ apps. Any new app will cost the user an existing app, resulting to juggling.

This is evidenced in the same Research 8020 study. 94% of all the respondents reported to have uninstalled at least one app in the past 30 days! Mobile loan applications and games topped the list.

A number of app based companies have set up shop in the country owing to the attractiveness of the market due to a high internet penetration. However the limited features of these phones, more so the space, results to these apps being uninstalled immediately the phone starts ‘misbehaving’.

Some companies such as Uber and Facebook have noticed this problem and swiftly introduced a lighter version of their app.

Hence, if you are thinking of creating an app for your business or running an app based business, we recommend that you either:

  1. Develop a very light version of it
  2. Hand high spec phones to you users

If you would like to know more about this study, please contact us at The report is available free of charge.

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