A few days ago, Apple launched its iTunes App Store in 33 new countries globally that include Nigeria, Tanzania, Algeria and Ghana in Africa. These countries join Botswana, Kenya, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritius, Niger, Senegal, Tunisia, South Africa, Egypt and Uganda who already have their own versions of Apple’s iTunes App Store in place.
Apple’s iTunes App Store is now available globally in around 123 countries after the new additions. Personally, I have been on an iPhone for the better part of a year and I have been able to download free and paid apps from the Kenyan version of the iTunes App Store. It works just fine and I have to say using it has been a flawless process.
Over 1/4 of Kenya’s population is now online from a population of 40 million. Going forward, it seems, more mobile app stores should come to market in Africa in addition to Google’s Android Market and Nokia’s OVI store. Other late entrants to this space include Samsung’s BADA platform which is slowly but surely deploying “local” mobile apps for the African marketplace. In most of these mobile app stores, one can pay using operator-based billing or credit cards.
Apple’s additional iTunes App Store launches in Africa go to show that there is indeed a healthy level of interest for mobile apps in Africa. Indeed, it can only mean that the uptake of iOS devices is going mainstream, and more consumers are expected to advantage of this trend where mobile apps are concerned. In addition, mobile application developers can reach a wider customer base for their apps on the iOS platform than ever before – in Africa and beyond, leading to higher sales numbers.