To cushion the effects of bad economy on their finances, more Nigerians are embracing smartphone financing schemes. The scheme allows intending users without adequate funding at hand to get a device of their choice after making an initial deposit, with the remaining balance spread over a period of time.
Electronic commerce platforms, gadgets platforms, and banks have introduced the scheme, which is gradually gaining attention. The scheme is not limited to Nigeria, as it has gained more traction, even better, in countries including South Africa, Kenya, Egypt, and some sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).
Already, through this scheme, the Global System for Mobile telecommunications Association (GSMA), predicted that smartphone connections in the region will hit 700 million by 2025. GSMA expects Nigeria to have 154 million, South Africa 73 million, and Kenya 47 million connections.
Currently, estimates from different sources put the number of smartphone users in Nigeria at between 25 and 40 million. The exact number of users is hard to pin down.
However, available data show a strong growth outlook for the local smartphone market with user numbers to at least triple within the next five to six years.
GSMA noted that smartphone adoption in SSA is rising but lags behind global average (64 per cent at the end of 2019) by a considerable margin.
Affordability, especially of 4G-enabled devices, remains a key barrier to smartphone adoption in Nigeria and other parts of Africa.
Indeed, GSMA in its, “The Mobile Economy Sub-Saharan Africa 2020” report, observed that the average selling price of smartphones has reduced significantly in recent years, with the influx of sub-$100 devices from Chinese brands such as Tecno and Infinix, and the growing momentum behind the KaiOS-powered smart feature phones.”
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