Zim mobile OS stats: Android market grows but Nokia still leader

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Zim Mobile OS stats Sept 2014

Zimbabwe is still Nokia country, well at least in terms of device and OS market share. According to figures from StatCounter, for the 12 months ending September 2014, Series 40 devices are still the most widely used with just under 34% of the market.

Android OS is still in second place in with a 27.73% hold of the mobile OS market. This is an increase from previous figures on Android use. Looking at most of the local device distributors the strong presence of new Android ready devices explains this.

Distributors like Econet have been pushing Samsung, Huawei and ZTE devices with various credit facilities and local brands like GTel and Astro are also adding to the Android total. Other operating system figures include Blackberry (5.4 %), iOS (3.04 %) and Windows (1.37%).

Despite its declined global relevance 46.98% of Zimbabweans use Nokia followed by “unknown” devices (the numerous Chinese brand imports) with 22.31%. Samsung is used by 15.54%, RIM (Blackberry) 5.49% and Apple has 3.06% market share.

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Zim Mobile Devices Stats Sept 2014

With such a distribution the question for app developers and startups is why start off with Android? The figures definitely show that any app that is Android only excludes so many potential users. 

The growth trajectory for Android OS use locally, though impressive, shows that it still has a long way to go before being the undisputed market leader or at least addressing most of the smartphone user market.

To add to this, Zimbabwe like most markets has experienced a lengthened smartphone upgrade cycle, which is the period spent holding on to a device before turning it in for a new one.This cycle is affected by so many factors like disposable income and reduced relevance of obsolete models.

With added taxes on devices, as well as the popularity of cross platform apps like WhatsApp and Facebook that work on devices already held, there isn’t going to be a slew of Nokia C3 and Nokia X2 users dumping their WhatsApp ready phones for Huawei or Samsung just yet.

Wouldn’t it be simpler to just make something that’s cross platform first? Perhaps use HTML5 which is appropriate for the development of mobile friendly web applications that every user on any OS can access.

The information used for this article has been provided by StatCounter. More details on their methodology is available on their site.

6 Comments

  1. Frank says:

    HTML5 is a non starter unless you want a slow app and useless one for that matter. We should target Android cause its showing impressive growth since at one point it was only at 11%. Besides Nokia users are less likely to download much apps anyway

  2. collen says:

    HTML5 is fast and read I know FB owner once said HTML5 is not yet ready coz its slow but some developers proved that HTML5 is ready by making up their FB app on HTML5 with performed way way better than FB Android/iOS

    i do mobile apps using HTML5 and they run smooth

  3. Joe says:

    When the Economy & Peoples standard of living improves, Nokia handsets will phase out.. Am not talking about smart or web enabled phones.. Money may be the root of all evil but hell it makes the av joe happy..

  4. big bla says:

    As a business, you look into the future. 3-5yrs, 5-10yrs. Look at what is being marketed out there, and target that. You also target stuff that is still being supported or manufactured. When the s40 line ends, the owners will likely switch to…. you guessed it, low to midrange androids.

    Quote:
    “A July 2014 company memo revealed that Microsoft would end the future production of all Asha and Series 40 devices in favor of Windows Phone”

    1. tinm@n says:

      Unfortunately Windows Phone has been a dismal failure.

      The market share that the Nokia phone enjoyed will die with its flagship OS, shrinking their market. The rest will be reviving a product that is failing to gain life.

      Consumers haven’t been very receptive to Windows Phone despite the hardware having better than average features.

      The other downside is the very slow developer uptake of Windows Phone dev. This is not to say opportunity is lost. But there’s a long road for them as long as they adopt that be-rediculously-different attitude.

      1. ... says:

        Android was created in 2003. Google bought it in 2005. It really didn’t start becoming popular until 2009/2010 with the Motorola Droid/Milestone. All together its taken about a decade for android to get where it is now. The iPhone took around 6-7 years. Let’s let things grow. The be a blockbuster or fail fast thing is all about a click hungry media. Windows phone will grow.

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