Best cell phone brands in Zimbabwe – reloaded

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In 2015, Techzim carried out a joint survey of the main brands of mobile phones in Zimbabwe. Some of the data was also obtained from Statcounter. The data was collected by non-Zimbabweans, so some felt it was not exhaustive or did not represent a true representation of the local market.

Welcome to the best cell phone brands in Zimbabwe – the recharged edition. This time around, we reached out to mobile app developers to get an overview of their data. All data used was for Zimbabwean apps, made in Zimbabwe and used by Zimbabweans.

Important notes

These data are highly biased. It only took into account people who have at some point been connected to the Internet; not through social media plans, but internet data plans. This can be done via the TelOne WiFi, Econet, NetOne, Telecel or ZOL packages for example. Unfortunately, it was not possible to get a breakdown of the distribution of ISPs with the metrics collected.

What this means for a developer is that these are the people you want, especially if your app is going to serve ads as your primary revenue model.

The second point to note is that the data used was collected using Google Firebase Analytics. I guess we can all trust Google, right?

The final point to acknowledge is that this data has been collected for one year, from October 1, 2019 until the date of publication of this article.

The swimming pool

This time around, we got data for 614,625 smartphones from 5,331 models. That’s a lot of smartphones. For comparison, that’s almost just enough smartphones to give every human being one in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe’s second largest city.

There are also 80,192 unreported devices. These are phones that did not share their phone make or model when they interacted with Google’s servers for some reason. It’s hard to guess the brands of these devices, but they also include iPhones (more on Apple phones later).

From our pool, a total of 345,259 people also declared their gender. Below is a table showing a breakdown of the gender statistics collected.

Then we have a demographic breakdown of the total number of people with declared sex. It is in percentage. This data would be very useful for someone looking to create products for people of a certain age group.

There really is no surprise here. Young people have the highest frequencies and the numbers decrease with age. What this might mean for a developer is that you should avoid building apps for people over 45. If you are sure that your product will make a lot of money for the elderly, then by all means go ahead and target them.

The iPhone that no one cares about – or impossible!

We all know that iPhones are very rare in Africa as a whole. The iPhone represents only 10% of all smartphones used in Zimbabwe. Someone is telling iPhone users to take a few cold pills. This does not mean that they are part of an exclusive club of smartphones with a lot of money. You are not the Ginimbis of phone owners. There are several Android phones that are more expensive than iPhones on our list.

This drastically reduces the iPhone as a good target for app makers. There are just too few of them to recoup the costs of developing the iPhone. And that will be all for Apple when we go down.

Hi my name is Samsung and Zimbabwe is my domain

Looking at the statistics, one would swear that Samsung phones are being distributed as part of a program by Gideon Gono Baccosi. There are so many Samsung phones. Given that Samsung phones are mostly mid-to-top in terms of price, how can Zimbos keep crying and saying he’s broke?

The two most used phones are the Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime Plus and the Samsung Galaxy Grand A2 Core. The phones cost $ 136 and $ 74, respectively.

The top ten

In the top ten most used phones (83,106 in total), 44,778 are Samsung phones. That’s 53.88%! The Itels come in second with half the number of Samsung phones (22,983 or 27.65%). The Itel brand is rapidly gaining market space in Zimbabwe due to its more affordable flagship products.

Huawei has lost ground to Itel over the past two years. The third most common device is the Vodafone brand VFD 1100. No surprise there, the device costs $ 100.

Below is a table of the ten most common smartphones

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Lite is so cheap because it is a phone made in 2014. It is now very old but the tablet is sturdy and well built. With good care, tablets are easily the Nokia 3310 tablets.

Well that’s all from us and you can get the raw data from the download link below.


Fast NetOne, Econet and Telecel airtime recharge

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