Drop in prices for entry-level 4G phones across Africa boosts 4G smartphone uptake – IDC

Ongoing economic recoveries in major mobile markets on the continent lead to a positive growth in the shipments of smartphones in the last quarter, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC).

According to the IDC, Q3 2017 saw 21.7 million smartphones shipped on the African continent, out of a total of 55.4 million mobile phones that were shipped in the same period. However, compared to last year, the number of smartphones shipped dipped by 5.5%. That is not the case with feature phones which saw an increase in shipments over the past year to stand at 11.5% with 33.7 million units or 60.8% share.

Transsion Holdings, the parent company of the Tecno and Infinix brands, was the biggest smartphone and feature phone vendor on the continent in Q3 2017

Those crazy Black Friday deals? Looks like they actually work since the IDC believes South African customers holding out on making any purchases in Q3 hoping to land some deal in Black Friday which falls in the current quarter (4), are responsible for the dip in shipments quarter over quarter (by 8%).

Interestingly, “IDC’s research shows that 4G phones are growing in popularity, with shipments increasing 5.5% QoQ in Q3 2017 to finally account for a majority share of the smartphone market at 52.9%. A drop in prices for entry-level 4G phones and an increase in the number of 4G networks across the continent are driving this growth in 4G devices.” That should be true of even the local market where 4G smartphones go for as low as under Kshs 5,000 and there are several quality 4G smartphones going for between Kshs 10,000 and Kshs 15,000.

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In Q3 2017, Hong Kong-based Transsion Holdings, the parent company of the Tecno and Infinix brands which are popular not just in Kenya but the whole of Africa, held on to the top spot as the biggest smartphone and feature phone vendor on the continent with 30.1% and 58.9% market share respectively. While the Tecno and Infinix brands dominate the former category, it is the Tecno and iTel brands that dominate the latter. Infinix doesn’t make feature phones. Samsung is the second biggest smartphone vendor on the continent with 26.1% market share. Samsung’s good fortunes in the smartphone are because of its “economically priced” Galaxy J series smartphones, according to the IDC.

For this quarter (4), “IDC expects Africa’s overall mobile phone market to grow 6.2% QoQ (quarter on quarter)…, spurred by the increase in demand that typically accompanies the festive season.”


Header image: T3.com

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