Survey, Desktop vs Tablet vs Mobile: which device leads in Africa?

There is a place we all go to on a daily basis, some people once or twice a day whereas others let it consume their lives, taking up every waking moment of their existence. It is of course the internet.

Desktop vs tablet vs mobile: which device rules Africa?

© Karel Joseph Noppe Brooksvia

The internet provides users with a plethora of content and interactions and has become a necessity in the lives of millions of people around the world. Whether it be for work purposes, communication, social interaction, research, entertainment… the list of uses of the internet is endless.

Africa, just like the rest of the world is reliant on the internet. One of the aspects which differentiates countries around the world in terms of internet usage is how they access it.

The three main devices which people use to access the internet are desktops, tablets or mobiles. The question is which one of these devices dominates the market share in Africa?

In a study compiled by StatCounter, they have identified the market percentage of each device used to search the internet in Africa from March 2016 to March 2017. The results are as follows:


Mobile is undoubtedly the device which dominates on the African continent. Mobile devices make up a staggering 60.29% of the total market share in Africa. This is unsurprising as the limitations in Africa with regards to affordability and access are overcome by the availability of affordable smart phones. These mobile devices provide Africans with easy and affordable access to the internet and that’s why it is the device which dominates the African market share.


Desktops are computers designed for regular use at a fixed location. Although desktops have changed drastically over the years with the adoption of laptops and other devices, they still make up a chunk of the African market share – 36.8% to be precise.

The legacy of desktops in Africa is seen in schools, universities and computer centres, where there are large amounts of desktops in a single area for the use of the community or people linked to those specific organisations.

In the rural areas of Africa where people can’t afford mobile devices or their own desktops, computer labs are built and this is often the only point of access to the internet for those communities.

Desktops are also a popular option in many offices around Africa. The in-office desktops provide companies with certain security advantages which cannot be overlooked. These reasons indicate why desktops are Africa’s second most used device.


When the first tablets got released, a worldwide frenzy began as people started to purchase this mobile computer with a touch screen. In Africa, however, it never really took off. Don’t get me wrong, there is still a huge market for tablets and there are still many people in Africa using them, but when you look at the market share, an astonishing 2.91%, it just does not compete against other devices.

There could be for a couple of reasons, but the main one is the cost. Generally tablets are expensive devices because of their size and capabilities and although they can do so many incredible things they do not do much more than a regular smartphone. For this reason, tablets are the third most used device in Africa. Read more


Mobile app developers? here are 8 great testing tools rapid proliferation of mobile devices presents a particular nasty testing issue for mobile app developers. With so many operating system versions, browsers, and devices in circulation, ensuring a quality experience across all combinations can be nearly impossible, especially when you have a limited number of devices on hand.


Appium is an open source mobile test automation framework aimed primarily at functional testing for your app’s UI. It can be used with native, hybrid, or web apps, and it allows developers of native apps to test without adding an SDK or having to recompile.


Bugsee is a cloud-based tool that monitors and records the state of a system, offering bug and crash reports with bug information sent to the developer’s bug tracker.

Bitbar Testdroid

Billing itself as “devops for mobile testing and monitoring,” Bitbar’s Testdroid is available as a public or private cloud service or as an onsite testing service. Bitbar Public Cloud (Testdroid Cloud) provides a cloud-based mobile device farm with thousands of Android and iOS devices for automated and manual mobile app testing.


The CrossBrowserTesting service provides access to a device lab in the cloud, saving developers from dealing with virtual machines, device labs, and cross-browser testing, according to the company.

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Tips to keep yourself safe when banking online

How to keep yourself safe when banking online. (Image source: Business Advice UK)

How to keep yourself safe when banking online. (Image source: Business Advice UK)

The ease and convenience of banking on a mobile device is undeniable. However, this luxury does not come without any risk as cyber crime continues to plague various industries by taking advantage of the unknowing consumer. This threat has seen banks make a concerted effort to educate their customers about the risks that they face and inform them on how to protect themselves by constantly keeping up to date with the latest Apps and security measures.

Kartik Mistry, Head of Smart Devices at FNB says, “Although technology allows you to bank anywhere at any time, the onus is on you to constantly lookout for the latest security measures to prevent fraudsters from robbing you of your hard earned cash.”

Mistry has highlighted important safety tips that consumers should consider when accessing banking services on their mobile devices, either through Banking Apps, cellphone banking and the mobile web.

What to do:

  • Download Apps from trusted sources: It is not safe to download Apps from suspicious or unknown sources as these can expose your mobile phone to malicious malware and viruses that can gain unauthorised access to your private information.
  • IM Swaps: Protect yourself from Sim Swap fraud by always keeping your phone switched on, ensuring that you have connection to the network and can send and receive messages.
  • Cellphone Banking: Memorise your PIN, never write it down or share it with anyone.
    Choose an unusual PIN that is hard to guess and change it often.

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African mobile solutions amazes the world at MWC2017

The conclusion of the annual gathering of the mobile industry in Barcelona for Mobile World Congress (MWC) saw even greater interest in solutions from Africa than in previous years according to the GSMA.

Several African innovators were among the 2200 exhibitors who took part in the 2017 edition of the event, which is organised by the industry body on a global scale followed by regional events like GSMA Mobile 360 Series scheduled to take place in Tanzania later this year.

African mobile solutions interest the world at MWC2017Yasmina McCarty, Head of Mobile for Development at GSMA says the new partners will assist in getting innovative mobile solutions to reach the 3.6 billion people that now have access to mobile phones according to the GSMA.

“Mkopa from Kenya is just one example, in energy, of thirty-two other companies who are doing these kinds of solutions we are now showing to the world. More than two hundred million pounds are invested in energy and the innovation is showing great promise. A lot more people around the world who do not have access to reliable power can benefit from this solution using a basic handset. If a small business has access to a solar system like Mkopa they can stay open for an hour-and-a-half longer every day and that is an extra income or extra time of studying for kids in a home.”

McCarty believes that the success in rolling out mobile money around the world can be extended to reach sectors such as agriculture and health.

“What is exciting is that we now have half a billion mobile money wallets around the world now and about every minute you have thirty thousand transactions. Mobile money is in ninety-two countries now and processing 22 billion dollars in one month so it has become an industry in its own right and that is thanks to mobile technology. We have thirty-five mobile money services with one million active customers in Africa, Asia and Latin America, but Africa continues to be the pioneer. It is an innovation that you can say Africa gave to the world as it has travelled beyond the continent.”

M-Pesa launched in Kenya exactly a decade ago with the aim of reaching unbanked members of the population who were without access to secure and affordable financial services.

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