Insights from Jumia’s fourth mobile industry white paper

Every year, just before the start of its early-year Mobile Week, e-commerce platform Jumia Kenya releases a white paper that takes a closer look at the local mobile market and places it in the context of emerging global trends as well as relevance in the local economy. Like, for instance, this year, the focus was on the role of the smartphone industry towards Kenya’s social and economic development.

This year, the white paper, currently in its fourth edition, shed some light on a few things that Jumia, by virtue of being the biggest player in the local e-commerce market, is able to talk about with authority. They include:

  • This is Tecno and Infinix’s market to lose. We already knew that. From the white paper, it is expected that the impending entry of OPPO’s sibling, Vivo, into the local market will stir things a little further resulting in a reduction in the prices of smartphones. Another Chinese device maker, Xiaomi, is making a re-entry into the local market by using a the model that it is widely known for: cutting its overheads by selling its smartphones online. Xiaomi’s first attempt at taking a stab of the Kenyan mobile market using traditional retail channels failed miserably.
  • Increase in smartphone demand in the local market can be directly attributed to the 4G race, something we know so well, again.
  • The number of smartphones sold on Jumia last year (2017) rose by 25% (compared to 2016) to stand at 250,000.
  • Smartphones accounted for 97% of all phones sold on Jumia. The remaining 3% belongs to feature phone sales. Despite the fact that the smart feature phone has arrived to take the place of the feature phone as we know it, that is yet to be felt in the local market.
  • 68% of Jumia’s phone sales took place in Nairobi.
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  • According to Jumia’s mobile white paper, Tecno and Infinix continue to be the heavy movers on the platform but they’re no longer alone. Their share, reportedly, fell last year. I’d love to see the specifics regarding this, though since the example cited in the white paper, the Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus, is a 2018 device and not the best example that can be given of devices that gave the Transsion Holdings duo a run for their money on among smartphones that retail for Kshs 20,000 or more.
  • The increased competition among mobile network operators to offer users the best value for their money with regards to the data they purchase is being attributed to the increase in sales made on Jumia via the smartphone. “In 2017, Jumia also experienced major changes in the browsers customers are using to access the website. There has been >1000% growth in visits from Android Webview, 40%+ growth from Chrome, whilst Opera Mini traffic has stagnated at +2%. This is driven largely by telecom providers offering affordable priced data bundles.”

One question: what’s the impact of Jumia embracing progressive web apps in 2017?

You can read the white paper by downloading it from here.

Have something that you believe I need to have a look at? Hit me up: echenze [at]