By the end of 2017 there will be 20.1m active smartphone subscriptions in Kenya, a 16 percent increase from the end of last year, according to GlobalData numbers.

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This strong growth is driven by an increasing number of low-priced smartphones, such as the Neon Kicka ($34), being brought to the market by the operators.

This increase in smartphone numbers matters as Kenya is also home to some of the continent’s most innovative software developers, recently earning its capital the nickname Silicon Savannah.

The fact that most Kenyan mobile subscribers are now using smartphones in their daily lives should catalyse further development of home-grown applications and solutions such as the mobile money app, M-Pesa, and mobile solar power solution, M-Kopa.

By year-end 2022, over 80 percent of total handsets in Kenya, or 31m, will be smartphones.

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By GlobalData