by Muyiwa Matuluko
The global mobile space is essentially a two-horse race between Android and iOS. For all we know other competing platforms – primarily Blackberry and Windows Phone – are pretenders. With over 80% of the global marketshare, Android is, and will continue to be, the leading mobile platform for a long while.
Coming down to the continent of Africa, the story is quite similar – Android has the lead. But it’s barely a competition. All the other OSes are practically dead or dying. Well, at least according to Global Stats from StatCounter, a web traffic analysis tool that tracks billions of monthly page views, on the over 3 million sites that have the StatCounter plugin installed.
For the period of January to December 2014, here’s what the African mobile OS situation looks like in one graph
Notice how other mobile platforms continue to dip in market share while Android, with almost 50% of the marketshare, continues to grow? What’s most interesting is finding Windows Phone and Samsung at the bottom of the pile. It is not clear what particular platform “Samsung” represents on the graph. It’s either between Samsung’s custom Tizen OS – which is barely existent on the continent – or any of the generic OSes found on Samsung featurphones (do they still sell those?).
For all the publicity and perceived swag, Windows Phone doen’t appear to be doing so well on the continent. In fact, market share has been on a decline, even as they are increasingly becoming as competitive in pricing as their Android counterparts. Which makes it even more interesting that Android stays winning.
As is obvious from the graph, pricing plays an instrumental role in Africa as the top 3 mobile platforms are commonly found in low budget devices – Android, Series 40 (Asha) and “Unknown”. Chances are Android probably has a huge chunk of the “unknown” sector, considering a lot of “Chinko” brands – which StatCounter for whatever reason doesn’t account for – most likely belong to this category.
Android is winning in Africa. 2015 will be very interesting for mobile