Nigeria: trailblazing mobile-first and mobile-only

On Device Research have some interesting information about mobile web in Nigeria. It is good to see outsiders corroborate what I have consistently pushed out here for a few years now – that Nigeria is the true leader of the concepts of mobile-first and mobile-only.

According to Statcounter, 88% of the web traffic in Nigeria originates from mobile devices. No surprise. Here on, for example, our lowest share of mobile traffic in years has been 67%. The huge majority of our traffic is mobile. The Statcounter graph also shows a sharp transition of Nigeria from predominantly PC to predominantly mobile between 2008 and 2013, which again tallies with the timelines I have given. Since the GSM mobile operators took mobile internet serious, internet connectivity in Nigeria jumped and became predominantly mobile. You can see in the chart below how desktop PCs and mobile traded places across those years.


According to the report by On Device, currently roughly 43% of web browsing in Africa happens via mobile devices. Here is how other regions compare in terms of mobile web traffic:

    Africa – 43%

  • South America – 9%
  • Europe – 10%
  • North America – 14%
  • Asia at 30%

At 88%, Nigeria is leaps and bounds ahead of the average anywhere else.

Nokia Lockdown On Web Browsing?

Nigeria mobile
OnDevice also says that Nigeria is a true Nokia country – stating that a whopping 70% of the internet connected phones here come from the Finnish manufacturer. Shock! Horror! I know how many times I have had to humour those who go like, “Who browses with a Nokia in 2013?” Now I have an answer: Nigerians. Apparently, lots of Asha phones are active online.

Also read:  Calling Symbian & Blackberry Developers

Interesting statistics about mobile web in Nigeria. Again, all the figures may not be spot on accurate and need to be taken with a pinch of salt, as On Device themselves have indicated. However, they do paint a fairly good picture of the situation on ground here. Yes; without doubt, Nigeria leads in mobile-first and mobile-only. Ask Eskimi. Ask Mobofree. Ask 2Go. Ask us here at

You can read the full report over at OnDevice Research.

Mister Mobility

I started blogging about mobile in 2004 as a fun way to share my passion for gadgets and mobile services. My other interests include digital media, speaking and teaching, photography, travelling, and dancing.

0 thoughts on “Nigeria: trailblazing mobile-first and mobile-only

  • October 23, 2013 at 8:19 am

    Interesting stats, but not that surprising. On more developed continents, wired & WiFi are more prevalent, usually cheaper and more dependable than GSM(2G/3G) internet. In Africa the opposite is the case.
    & I’m sending this post from my Xperia phone 🙂

  • October 23, 2013 at 10:20 am

    Hi, thanks for sharing these data points with your followers. It was definitely interesting to compare Nigeria with a few other African (and non-African) countries. We’ll soon release additional numbers on what % of mobile internet users are exclusively browsing on their phones and not using computers to go online at all.

    This “mobile-only” is something we’re seeing more and more as phones becomes better and data speeds faster. It can be still slow and frustrating, of course. Even in the center of London as the networks are struggling to keep up with the hordes browsing on their smartphones.

  • October 23, 2013 at 8:08 pm

    Yes, not surprising.

    Really. The alternative is much more expensive, and not nearly as ubiquitous . We can’t, but, go for mobiles for our Internet access…

  • October 28, 2013 at 6:08 am

    Mr Mo, you used to have a feature here that displays the OS from which posts are made.. it seems to have disappeared. did you disable it or I’m not seeing it from my device

    • October 28, 2013 at 7:40 am

      Forte Spy,

      We disabled it along with several other plugins when we needed to ease server load.

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