Africa’s smartphone usage has increased significantly, with a growing mobile phone market. By 2025, estimates suggest that the African smartphone market will reach around 300 million users. The most popular smartphone brands in Africa are Samsung, Tecno, and Infinix. Android is the most popular operating system (OS) in Africa, with over 80% of the smartphone market share in the continent.
Affordability and Versatility Drive Android’s Popularity
One key factor driving Android’s popularity in Africa is affordability. Most Android devices are priced lower than their Apple counterparts, making them more accessible to a larger population. This is especially important in Africa where many people have limited budgets for smartphones. Android’s open-source nature also makes it easier for manufacturers to create low-cost devices, further driving affordability.
Another reason for Android’s popularity in Africa is its versatility. Android devices come in various sizes, shapes, and prices, catering to the different needs and preferences of users. Additionally, Android’s open-source nature allows developers to create apps that are tailored to the needs of African users, such as apps that work offline, support local languages, and take into account data constraints.
Popular Android App Categories in Africa
With a growing number of people using Android devices, there has been an increase in demand for mobile apps that cater to the needs of African users. Here are some of the most popular Android app categories in Africa:
Mobile money has become an essential component of the African financial system, accounting for more than half of all mobile money transactions worldwide. Nigeria has five financial apps in its top 20 best apps. Neobank Kuda Bank, digital lending platforms LCredit and OKash, and financial super apps PalmPay and OPay are among these apps. Financial services applications are popular in Kenya, with five apps ranking in the top 20, but the emphasis is mostly on lending. Credit Moja, Tala, and FairKash are among the top ten digital lending platforms, with Absa Bank’s Timiza rounding out the list. M-Pesa, which ranks fifth on the top 20 list, powers the majority of the country’s leading apps.
Streaming and Gaming
Netflix, Spotify, Boomplay, and MyDSTV all rank among the top 20 apps in Kenya, indicating a significant preference for streaming-based entertainment. In recent years, sports betting has also gained significant traction in Africa, with paridiect.com being a premier destination for betting on sports. Paridirect.com allows users to bet on a range of sports including football, tennis, basketball, baseball, cricket, and more.
South Africa’s top 20 apps include Shein and Takealot for online retail, Uber Eats for food delivery, and Bolt for on-demand transportation. In Nigeria, Kenya, and Ghana, the only app from the commerce category to make it into the top 20 is Jumia. In Egypt, Jumia is joined by Amazon, and in Morocco, it is joined by Chicpoint, a kids’ and women’s clothes shopping app.
Mobile Internet Usage and the Future
Mobile internet usage in Africa is expected to skyrocket, with estimates predicting that it will reach 800 million users by 2025. As a result, mobile commerce is growing, with more consumers taking advantage of the convenience of mobile and using their cell phones to make online purchases and access financial services. The top Android app categories in Africa reflect the diverse needs and interests of Africa’s smartphone users. The rise of Africa’s internet and smartphone markets, as well as the availability of numerous apps catering to various interests, are creating new opportunities for economic and social development.