While those who reside in the US and Europe may see mobile as a massive market, that isn't the case in all parts of the world. Technology spreads a bit slower in some parts of the globe where even "feature phones" are only now on the rise. Africa is one such market, but it is starting to see an increase in mobile adoption.
"Africa is poised to become a hotbed for mobile growth and commerce in the coming years" according to a State of Mobile Advertising report from Opera Mediaworks. The assessment comes from studying two of the company's most prominent areas -- the mobile browser and mobile advertising.
Why does the company feel this is important? "Beyond the monetization potential of a world of new or localized apps and websites, there are distinct possibilities to harness the power of social networking and to implement innovative internet usage plans, as well as new ways to push forward digital healthcare initiatives in Africa".
While much of this growth is being fueled by feature phones, Opera is seeing an increase in Android adoption. It claims that 30 percent of those with mobile devices now are using Google's smartphone platform. These users are twice as likely to use the mobile web as those on feature phones. The largest markets include South Africa, Namibia, Sudan, Egypt, Democratic Republic of Congo and Angola.
While use of mobile apps is still much lower than other parts of the world, Opera sees potential in social networking and healthcare fields. Clearly this is an emerging market that many companies will be, and perhaps are, looking into.