News Column

Smartphone shipments into Kenya surge 104pc

June 3, 2014

Nation Reporter -1

Smartphone shipments into Kenya surged 104.6 per cent year on year in the first quarter of 2014, buoying mobile operators' bid to boost data revenues even as voice revenues plateau.

The smartphone category increased its unit share of the overall handset market to 29.8 per cent for the period under review as more consumers invested in the various new gadgets launched since the start of Q4 2013 data from the International Data Corporation (IDC) shows.

The new trend dims the growth of feature phones whose shipment only rose 3.6 per cent over the same period.

Communications Commission of Kenya in its latest report says the number of estimated internet users increased by 11.0 per cent during the quarter under review to record 21.2 million users up from 19.1 million estimated in the previous quarter.

Safaricom's mobile data revenue rose 40 per cent last year earning it Sh9 billion.

Some of the models recently introduced to the Kenyan market include, but are not limited to, the LG L1, LG L4, Nokia X, Nokia Lumia 1320, Nokia Lumia 1520, Samsung S3 Lite, Samsung Galaxy Grand 2, Samsung S5, Sony Xperia M2, Apple iPhone 5, Tecno M3, Tecno R7, and various devices from Infinix.

The overall handset market in Kenya is dominated by three vendors, namely Nokia, Tecno, and Samsung according to IDC Combined, these vendors control around 75 per cent of the market's total volume.

"Devices with 2G and 2.5G interfaces still dominate the Kenya handset market. However, 3G and 4G-enabled devices continued to record healthy year-on-year volume growth in Q1 2014 of 67.0 per cent and 207.4 per cent respectively," IDC said in its latest market report.

This is an indication that the Kenyan market's user base is increasingly ready to join the rest of the world in shifting to LTE.

With prices declining and increasing numbers of Kenyans now accessing the Internet via mobile phones, IDC expects the smartphone segment to continue recording healthy growth over the coming quarters.

For more stories covering the world of technology, please see HispanicBusiness' Tech Channel

Source: Nation (Kenya)

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