Africa registered 226 million smartphone connections by the end of 2015, accounting for a quarter of all mobile connections on the continent.
This number was shared in the 2016 edition of GSMA report on the Mobile Economy in Africa.
You can download the full GSMA report by following this link.
According to GSMA, the number of mobile broadband connections is expected to triple over the next 5 years. By 2020 Africa is expected to have 720 million smartphones, representing an increase of 494 million new smartphones between 2015 and 2020.
This increase has been driven by a continued reduction in the cost of smartphones which has been complemented by the proliferation of entry-level data enabled devices pegged at or around the $50 mark.
So far, Southern Africa is the sub-region with the highest smartphone adoption rate on the continent with 24%. As is the case with the other sub-regions, this number is driven by 2G connections with least number of connections attributed to 4G devices.
The distribution of network technology is anticipated to shift by 2020 with 3G and 4G recording increases and 2G declining.