ORBIT Smartphone Penetration Study

The Orange Business Intelligence Technology team ORBIT, which is the research and tech unit for Orange Group Nigeria recently released its smartphone and application penetration study for Quarter 4, 2022. Spanning social media to entertainment, banking, and much more, the report is an eye-opener into the diverse trends and interactions on smartphones and apps across Nigeria.

The comprehensive study was carried out using natural fallout and on-sight verification of phone types and downloaded apps.

“The research was conducted as a follow-up to our previous study on smartphone and app usage in Lagos, with a focus on determining the current level of smartphone adoption and readiness for new technological innovations among Nigerians.

The insights gained from this research are useful for FMCGs, Fintech, investors, business owners, tech enthusiasts, and the general public who are curious about mobile app adoption and smartphone penetration in Nigeria.” Adetola Adesanoye, Business Analyst at Orange Groups Limited.

According to the report, the five cities with the highest smartphone penetration are Benin city with 79% penetration, closely followed by Lagos and Kaduna with 78% smartphone penetration each, and the cities of Ilorin and Onitsha follow with 77% and 74% respectively.

The report reveals that Transsion Holdings leads smartphone device penetration in Nigeria with its brands Tecno and Infinix leading the pack with 29% and 26% respectively. The iPhone follows in 3rd place with 14% penetration while Samsung takes 4th place at 10%. Itel settles comfortably at number 5 with 7% smartphone penetration placing Transsion’s chokehold on the Nigerian smartphone market at a solid 62%

US-owned Meta’s messaging apps dominate Nigeria’s messaging with the freewarecross-platformcentralized instant messaging (IM) and voice-over-IP (VoIP) service WhatsApp holding a staggering 96% lead, closely followed by Meta’s Messenger with a 32% penetration. Telegram pops up in the top 3 at 12%, similar to Meta’s WhatsApp, the freemiumcross-platformencryptedcloud-based, and centralized instant messaging (IM) service also provides optional end-to-end encrypted chats as well as voice-over-IP (VoIP) service.

Developed by Transsnet Group, the joint venture between NetEase Group and Transsion Holdings Group, Boomplay, the freemium media streaming app leads the streaming category with a 33% share. This is followed by Google’s YouTube at 29% and the US-owned on-demand music streaming platform, Audiomack at 5%. Audio identification app Shazam places 4th at 4% followed by MTN’s all-in-one messaging and streaming app; Ayoba and video-on-demand (VOD) service apps Iroko TV and Netflix with 2% each.

The Orbit report indicates that Access Bank leads the category of top banking apps with an 11% lead followed by UBA at 10% and GTBank following at 9%. For the fiercely competitive fintech apps, OPay which offers POS and payment services has the highest salience with

a 14% lead, followed by Palmpay at 7% and Kuda 3 points behind at 4%. The proliferation of cryptocurrency in Nigeria is uncertain with Binance at 3% while Chipper Cash and Luno come in 2nd and 3rd place both maintaining 1% of the user base.

“The team’s unwavering commitment to professionalism and unbiased research is truly commendable. Their meticulous approach to data collection, including the extra step of double checking participants’ responses, has resulted in a highly accurate and reliable dataset.” Adetola Adesanoye, Business Analyst at Orange Groups Limited.

The extensive report which reviews global and regional smartphone and app usage in Nigeria includes insight into several categories including e-commerce, social media, ride-hailing apps, betting and more is available at Orbit. Of the total number of respondents, 64% were smartphone users, while 36% did not use a smartphone.

To download the full report, CLICK HERE.


The Orange Business Intelligence Technology (ORBIT) team is the research and tech unit of Orange Group Nigeria. Following an initial 2019 survey, which was carried out solely in Lagos, the Smartphone & Application Penetration Study in Q4 2022 compiled data across major cities in Nigeria. The ORBIT team of 55 interviewers and 8 supervisors polled 13,340 respondents from 12 cities.

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