by GARBA Moussa

The African business community is adopting the use of mobile devices very rapidly. This is the main conclusion drawn from the survey conducted by the Africa Business Panel. 1776 African business professionals did participate in the survey.

The survey demonstrates that only 67 percent of Africa business professionals are using a desktop, versus 94 percent using laptops. The tablet, a relatively new mobile innovation, is already adopted by 47 percent of the African business world. 76 percent use a smartphone, which is more than the use of the classic mobile phone (64%). 9 percent possess both a private and a company smartphone.

types of mobile devices


Laptops are best protected. 87 percent of the laptop owners in the survey had software security installed. Of users of desktops, 76 percent made use of security. For tablets, 46 percent, and the least protected are smartphones (44%).

The main reasons for not installing security software are high costs (39%), the lack of urgency (32%) and complexity (17%). The most used software security is McAfee (31%), followed by Microsoft (30%), Kapersky (28%), AVG/Grisoft (28%) and Symantec (16%).

types of security software


Smartphones are used most frequently. 65 percent of the participants in the survey use their smartphones several times a day, 54 percent use their laptops just as frequently, with users of tablets following at 44 percent. 22 percent never use their personally owned mobile phone for work related communication as opposed to the smartphone, of which 6 percent of the owners say they never use it.

use of work related mobile devices

Future use

Asked about expected future use, the rise of mobile devices is confirmed by the survey participants. 60 percent expect a strong increase in the use of smartphones. For the tablet and the laptop, response in perceived increase was 58 and 44 percent respectively.

On the other hand, asked about which devices the participants expected a strong decrease in use, 32 percent indicated the desktop, versus only 4 percent for both smartphone and tablet.

use of work related mobile devices

Blackberry still a big brand in Africa, iPhone comes third after Samsung

Samsung is the leading smartphone brand in Africa. 30 percent of respondents that have a personal smartphone, have a Samsung. Blackberry is runner-up (22%), iPhone comes in third place (19%), prior to Nokia (11%), HTC (6%), Sony Ericsson (2%), LG (1%) and Motorola (1%).

The - smaller - market for company owned smartphones is led by Blackberry (31%), followed by Samsung (25%) and iPhone (23%).

brands mobile devices


This survey was conducted in the period of August and September, 2013. In total, we had 1766 Business Professionals from the continent of Africa participating in this research. 73 percent of these participants were either senior managers, executives, directors or business owners. The participants represent a wide range of African countries, with the main contributors coming from Nigeria (19%), South Africa (18%), Kenya (14%), followed by Ghana (5%), Tanzania (3%), Zambia (3%) and Angola (3%).

Are you interested in having access to the full dataset of this survey? You can by becoming a member of the Africa Business Panel. Click here to join