This Day (Lagos)

21 February 2013

Nigeria: Expert Sees Boom in Mobile APPs, Android Smartphone

Chief Executive Officer of New Horizons Nigeria, an Information Technology (IT) training institute, Mr. Tim Akano, has predicted a revolutionary growth in 2013 in mobile applications, and Smartphone that are driven largely by Android operating system.

Akano, who is also the Vice Chairman of the American-based Wini Group, an IT-security and business solutions company, gave the prediction during a chat with journalists in Lagos recently.

He warned that unless Apple opens up its closed strategy on its iOS operating system, other smartphone makers like Samsung and Nokia that are built on the Android operating system, which have lots of flexibilities and ease of use, would eventually erode Apple's market share.

Giving instances with the high rate penetration of Android-based smartphone in the Nigerian market and in other developed and emerging markets, Akano said : "There are already in the market today, over 1,000 brands of smartphone and tablets across the globe. The market will witness many more new smartphones and tablets in 2013."

According to him, "today's paradigm shift is not in oil and gas, it is not in telecommunications companies selling air-time, it is also not in selling hardware like tablets and smartphone, but the new shift that will generate the billions of dollars is in mobile applications development."

Listing top hardware device manufacturers in the world today to include HTC's Butterfly, Dell's Streak, Microsoft's Surface, ZTE's Nubia, Huawei's Ascend Mate, Blackberry, DataWind's UbiSlate, Samsung's Galaxy Note, iPad , iPhone , Goggle Smartphone, Techno, and Intel's Yolo among others, Akano said their prices would eventually drop in 2013, as demand would be high in different regions of the world.

"In the process, tablets and smartphone will become increasingly commoditised, and the markets will be flooded with smartphones this year," Akano said, insisting that the Apple strategy will not stand the test of time- except Apple changes its "closed strategy."

According to him, human beings remained social animals and they cherished freedom, variety and flexibility above other considerations.

"Therefore, Apple's closed strategy cannot win in the final analysis. Android, with its flexibility and ease of use will erode Apple's market share. Already, about 90 per cent of the Smartphone shipped in the last quarter of 2012 had Android inside. This perhaps explains the Apple shareholder increasing anxiety about the future of Apple without Steve Jobs. Little wonder why Apple stocks fell by 12 per cent in January this year alone," Akano said.

Comparing Blackberry growth in Nigeria, Akano said despite its current acceptance and popularity in Nigeria as a result of its chatting facility, the rate at which the revolutionary growth in Android Smartphone will hit the market in 2013, will cause a major change in consumer buying, to the extent that the Blackberry may not stand it.

He said Blackberry would not make much impact in North America and Europe, despite the new blackberry E10 that was released in January 2013.

"In the long and short of it, we are in a year of mobility and our lives in schools, organisations, churches, homes, cars, and all over, will revolve around mobile devices, which is the next revolution in the world," Akano said.

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