VENTURES AFRICA – In a bid to bridge the African continent’s digital divide, world leading electronics and mobile phone maker, Samsung Electronics, is planning to double its smart phones sales and marketing plans in Africa to enable local mobile phone subscribers enjoy internet access on smart devices via partnership agreement with leading mobile phone operators in the continent.
These plans were revealed by Samsung Electronics Africa Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, George Ferreira, at the Africa Regional launch for the new Samsung GALAXY Note II and Samsung GALAXY Camera, in Cape Town, South Africa. The Samsung Note II supports 3G and Long Term Evolution (LTE) technologies
With Kenya, Nigeria and Ghana leading the pack in smart phone sales, Ferreira disclosed that Africa is now the second largest and fastest mobile phone market in the world after China, having grown from a base of 90 million in 2005 to a current estimate of 450 million handsets. He noted that mobile phone penetration was 65 percent in the continent.
“With such growth and market potential in Africa, Samsung will be going the extra mile to deepen the local smart phones market by introducing quality products as part of a very deliberate effort to bridge Africa’s digital divide.” Fereira said.
“Africa is an important market to Samsung and the Launch of both the Galaxy Note II and Galaxy Camera attests to Samsung’s commitment to bridge the digital divide. This is in addition to many of our initiatives across Africa aimed at technology transfer, capacity building, youth education and empowerment as well as fostering knowledge based African continent among other”, he added.
To Samsung’s President/CEO, K. K. Park, there had been over 500 per cent growth rate in mobile phones penetration in Africa between 2005 and 2011.
“In 2005, Africa had only 90 million mobile phones, but today, we have 450 million, over 500 per cent growth rate. We are moving to the era of smartphones. Smartphone is positioning itself for the revolution and the possibilities of the mobile device are unending and Samsung is positioned to aid the growth and reach of mobile devices to Africa and the rest of the world,” Park stated.
“Understanding this, Samsung has developed our smart mobile devices to be more intuitive, personal and immediately expressive. The GALAXY Note II is a perfect example of a mobile device that encourages users to unleash their inner creativity. With a perfect viewing experience and special features, users can discover information and capture their ideas quicker, and express thoughts freely and manage their tasks more efficiently,” says Samsung Electronics East Africa Business Leader, Robert Ngeru.
Meanwhile, Nigeria, with a 41 percent market share, has been credited as the leader of Samsung electronic devices in the sales and adoption, especially in the mobile phone segment among other African markets. Nigeria leads South Africa and Kenya, which had 31 percent and 7 percent penetration between August 2011 and 2012 respectively.
While asserting that 50 per cent of Africans connect to the Internet through the mobile devices, Ferrira said the company’s investment in mobile infrastructure was expected to reach $1.5 billion in 2015, adding that 760 million tablets would be in use globally by 2016, 40 per cent of which would be from emerging markets, including Nigeria.
“Smartphones outsells computers at four to one ratio penetrations. Six over ten of the fastest growing economies are based in Africa,” he said.
Also, West Africa’s Mobile Business Leader for Nigeria Emmanuel Revmatas while speaking at the Africa Regional launch in Cape Town, Samsung Electronics credited that the advent of new privately owned submarine cables and their landing on the coast of many East and West African nations including Nigeria has significantly reduced cost of internet access and increased the adoption of smart phones on the continent.
“Mobile broadband penetration has increased tremendously over the last few years and all across Africa we are witnessing continued investment in infrastructure by most of the network operators making it possible for telecom subscribers to take full advantage of world of endless opportunities that smart devices like the Samsung Galaxy Note II offers”, said Revmatas.
On the issue of eWaste control was very important to the company, Revmatas said the firm collects used mobile phones batteries in Nigeria for proper disposal.