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Nigeria, South Africa Drive Africa’s Smartphone Market



Nigeria and South Africa have led Africa’s combined mobile phone market totaling 53.8 million units in Q2 2018, with shipments up 3.2 per cent quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) but down 1.2 per cent year-on-year (YoY). According to the latest insights from International Data Corporation (IDC), the continent’s two biggest markets – Nigeria and South Africa – saw a marked improvement in the performance of their overall mobile phone markets, posting YoY growth of 13.0 per cent and 25.0 per cent, respectively. “The Nigerian economy remains stable and has begun to show signs of steady improvement in terms of consumer demand for mobile phones,” said Arnold Ponela, a research analyst at IDC. “The country saw smartphone shipments of 2.7 million units in Q2 2018, up 15.8 per cent YoY, with strong marketing support from telecom operators for most brands proving instrumental.However, ongoing currency issues and falling consumer purchasing power suggest Nigeria is not set for a sustained surge in smartphone shipments,” he added.

South Africa remains the continent’s most developed telecommunications market, with smartphone shipments up 17.4 per cent YoY in Q2 2018 to total 3.4 million units. “Numerous new entrants to the South African market are now offering affordable smartphones that boast very similar features to the leading brands. “As such, we expect the country’s migration away from feature phones to continue at a progressive pace. This transition from feature phones to smartphones is reflected by the fact that the market continues to be dominated by low-end to mid-range devices priced below $150,”said Ponela.
A total of 22.4 million smartphones were shipped in Africa during the second quarter of this year (Q2 2018), according to IDC’s. The global technology research and consulting firm’s Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker shows that Africa’s smartphone shipments increased 9.8 per cent quarter on quarter (QoQ) and 6.0 per cent year -on – year (YoY) in Q2 2018.

The market’s buoyant performance was spurred by the growing popularity of low-end to mid-range devices. Transsion brands continued to lead the continent’s smartphone space in Q2 2018, accounting 35.4 per cent of shipments. Samsung followed in second place with 23.2 per cent share.

Looking ahead, IDC expects Africa’s overall mobile phone market to grow 2.6 per cent QoQ in Q3 2018, with overall shipments to increase slightly through 2018, leading to YoY growth of 0.4 per cent for the year as a whole. “IDC predicts that 5G phones will reach the market in 2020, when rollouts of 5G networks will start in select African countries,” said Yavuz.