A few years ago, there was no arguing the fact that Nigeria was not a smartphone market. With a measly 4 million smartphones in circulation back then, there was no contest. Here on MOBILITY, our Mobility Nigeria page regularly gets updated with facts and information about mobile technology and services in Nigeria. We have published for a few months now that the approximate number of smartphones in use in the country is 10 million. We arrived at that figure by asking questions from players in the industry.
This morning, Technology Distribution’s Chief Executive Officer has been quoted as saying that “over 10 million smart devices worth $1billion (N167bn) were sold in Nigeria in 2013“. That resonates with the figures that we have, especially if you consider that many purchases replace existing devices. Certainly, it wouldn’t be wrong to pin current smartphone ownership at a little over 10 million. Some have put the figure at closer to 20 million, which I strongly doubt.
If we have a compromise point of say 15 million smartphones in the country, that is still just about 12% of total mobile devices. We are hardly a smartphone market yet. However, a leap from 4 million to over 10 million in less than two years is serious improvement and should not be dismissed. The potential for more growth is very huge and manufacturers are fighting for the soul of Nigeria.
The battle for the bottom of the pyramid is real and very exciting here. We are seeing some awesome low to mid range smartphones in the market. That is where the bulk of future adoption will come from.
In another two years, perhaps we shall be looking at 30-40 million smartphones in use? Keeping fingers crossed.