Android devices continue to stand tall as the preferred choice in the Nigerian smartphone market. Factors that have solidified Android’s dominance include affordability, battery life and hardware, among others, writes JUSTICE OKAMGBA
Android smartphones continue to reign supreme in Africa, claiming an impressive 83.36 per cent market share, leaving iOS trailing far behind at 14.03 per cent, according to Statista’s latest survey conducted in April 2023.
Even in tech-savvy nations like Nigeria, where digital innovation thrives, Android stands tall with a commanding 78.7 per cent market share, while Apple’s iOS lags at 14.8 per cent.
These devices offer affordability, reliability, customization, and access to a vast world of applications. For Nigerians, choosing an Android phone isn’t just a decision; it’s a smart choice that aligns with their needs, preferences, and the realities of everyday life.
Price checks on e-commerce platforms like Jumia, and the online market, Jiji show that the cost of a functional Android phone with a good camera and 3GB RAM cost N35, 000. This is far below the lowest price of an iPhone.
Having choices that don’t cost a fortune is a big deal, especially for families and students who want a good phone without emptying their wallets.
An Android user simply identified as Adekunle, stated, “Android devices come in various price ranges, making smartphones accessible to a broader population.
He said, “Whether you have a lot of money to spend or you’re on a tight budget, there’s an Android phone that suits your pocket.
“This affordability factor significantly influences purchasing decisions, especially in a country with diverse economic backgrounds.”
A Software Developer, Ifeanyi Emmanuel shared similar sentiments.
He explained that with Android, “there are a wide range of phones to choose from, suiting my budget. Plus, I can easily customize my phone to match my preferences, which is cool.”
Long-lasting battery life
Nigerians rely heavily on their smartphones. Whether it’s for work, chatting with friends, or watching videos, a long-lasting battery is incredibly important.
According to a Phone Technician, Azeez, “Nobody wants to continue carrying power banks all the time. You can see the issue with electricity in our country.”
He said, “Android offers a lot when it comes to battery. It is also one of the reasons why many young Nigerians go for it.
“There are lots of Android devices now that give you up to 5000amh. Some offer you more.”
Variety of models
Just like other devices, Android comes in a wide variety of models. Some have amazing cameras that capture beautiful moments, while others boast large screens perfect for watching movies or playing games.
Emmanuel said a phone that runs apps super-fast is Android with plenty of different models and prices.
“Whatever you need, there’s an Android phone designed just for that purpose. You cannot have enough of these devices.”
Azeez mentioned that Computer Village now offers a wide variety of new Android devices. With so many options available, choosing one can be confusing due to the extensive display. He highlighted that these phones have advanced camera features and are sleeker than ever before.
When it comes to multi-tasking, some Android phones, like Tecno, infinix, and Samsung, take it to the next level. For example, Samsung introduced multi-window functionality, allowing users to view multiple apps simultaneously.
Android phones, especially those from various manufacturers, have been offering advanced multi-tasking options for years. It’s worth noting that stock Android lags in this area.
Madumere said this can include features like split-screen view, floating apps, and quick app switching, depending on the device and Android version.
For me, “These features allow me to efficiently handle multiple tasks and enhance productivity on Android devices.
Easy to customize
Imagine having a phone that you can make uniquely yours. Android phones are like a blank canvas waiting for you to add your personal touch.
You can change the wallpaper, rearrange app icons, and add widgets for weather updates or quick access to your favorite apps. It’s like having a phone that reflects your style and preferences.
Emmanuel said one of the selling points for Android devices is the efficiency of how files are managed.
He explained “It’s easy to save a file and find it later. Also, it’s confusing on iOS to know if a downloaded item is treated as an image or a file in certain apps. I don’t like that.
“Additionally, I prefer app settings to be inside the app. Apple usually keeps them in one place in settings, which is good. But many apps I use don’t follow this, creating inconsistency on iOS, despite the promise of consistency,” he added.
Popular choice among friends
Another Android user, Chinonso Ahurueze shared his excitement saying that friends using the same type of phone, and sharing apps, photos, and videos becomes a breeze.
He said, “It’s like being part of a big, friendly club where everyone speaks the same digital language.
“I can easily find someone to share files with, such as photos, movies, etc. I can always find those who are using Android phones, so it makes it easy.”
Furthermore, Android manages notifications more efficiently.
Ahurueze noted “Status bar icons inform you about notifications, even if you miss the sound. Notifications are categorized into conversations, notifications, and silent, making it easier to find them.”
A Cybersecurity Analyst at SAP, Chukwuka Madumere shares his views from a programming perspective.
According to him, Android is open source, and very useful for developers because its code can be used to create their version, known as a custom ROM.
He said, “These ROMs are regularly updated with the latest Android version, regardless of your phone if the developer chooses to do so.”
Further, Madumere noted that “Developers are quick to fix bugs too. This means your phone can last longer since it gets more updates and security patches.”
Android smartphones cater to the needs of Nigerians and aren’t complicated to use.
There are many apps made just for Nigerians, like banking, news, and language translation apps. Having helpful apps makes using a smartphone much better.
“I don’t want stress. It’s even complicated to add a song on some devices. With my Android device, I plug it into my computer, copy the song, and unplug – easy. But on iPhones, it takes much longer, almost half an hour. Very simple,” Ahurueze said.
He further argued that it’s very easy to be on the Internet and download any music or video without going through many protocols.
“Even the free all matches on my phone. There are lots of applications that allow you to do this. You just go to the Google Play Store and down those apps. It is not the same with Windows or iPhone.
“These are the types of things you enjoy while using an Android device. It is just priceless,” he concluded.
While it’s true that many high-end Android phones don’t have expandable storage, similar to Apple’s approach, you can still find this feature in mid-range smartphones.
Plus, Android allows for easy data and file transfer between SSDs and Android devices, making it convenient for users who need to move files around.
According to Madumere, one great advantage of choosing Android is the ability to increase storage easily.
Most Android phones allow you to use a microSD card to add more storage space. This is especially useful for people who need extra room for photos, videos, and other files, he explains.
Emmanuel on the other hand said iPhones don’t offer this option. The amount of storage you get with an iPhone is all you have, which can be limiting if you have a lot of stuff you want to keep on your device.
As technology continues to advance, Android’s stronghold in Nigeria shows no signs of waning. With a dynamic app ecosystem, customization options, and budget-friendly choices, Android devices are not merely smartphones but integral tools enhancing the lives of millions in Nigeria.
In a tech-savvy nation where smartphones have become indispensable, Android’s adaptability and accessibility have cemented its position as the preferred choice, promising a future where innovation and user satisfaction seamlessly intertwine in the palm of every Nigerian.