Africa snaps smartphone decline

Africa snaps smartphone decline

Smartphone shipments in Africa saw growth of 7.6% to a total of 19.6 million units in Q2, snapping seven quarters of continuous year-on-year decline.

Leading the growth was South Africa and Egypt with strong performances in the quarter.

IDC research analyst Taher Abdel-Hameed noted recovery in Egypt was due to the government easing on mobile phone imports.

"The Egyptian government is encouraging local production through various incentives, and this has led to the launch of five mobile phone factories in the country,” said Abdel-Hameed.

More brands are planning to start local manufacturing in the short term, and the initiatives aided in spurring recovery and accelerating momentum in Egypt.

Meanwhile, growth in South Africa was due to an increase in shipments of entry-level devices from Samsung and other local brands to meet the demand for affordable devices from budget-constrained consumers.

Nigeria is also among one of the largest markets in Africa but saw a decline despite seeing growth in Q1, which IDC attributed to a sluggish economy, high inflation rates, and poor exchange rates.

Transsion which owns the Tecno, Itel and Infinix brands, accounted for the largest share of smartphone shipments in Africa in Q2. Africa is the Chinese manufacturer’s highest contribution region pushing its entry into the top five largest shipping vendors for the first time. Samsung was the second-highest shipping vendor in Africa, followed by Xiaomi.

"Looking ahead, the African smartphone market is expected to recover further in 2024; however, it is worth noting that shipments will still not surpass the level of strong performance seen in 2021," said IDC senior research manager Ramazan Yavuz.  

"The hardships and challenges posed by the global economic outlook continue to affect the region, preventing a faster recovery. In the long term, an influx of affordable models across all brands and faster turnover from feature phones to smartphones will drive growth in the market."

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