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Africa’s smartphone market adds 53.3m units in Q1 |

Newly released data from IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker shows that Africa’s overall mobile phone market enjoyed year-on-year (YoY) growth of 14.0% in Q1 2021 to total 53.3 million units.

The region’s smartphone market grew 16.8 per cent over the same period to 23.4 million units, while the feature phone market was up 11.9 per cent to 29.9 million units.

Africa’s major smartphone markets performed well in Q1 2021, with the exception of South Africa, where the main vendors faced supply shortages and an economic environment that negatively impacted demand. Egypt had one of the highest growth rates in the region in Q1 2021, thanks to strong local demand, the easing of COVID-19 restrictions, and major vendors like Samsung and Oppo increasing their shipments into the country.

Nigeria also enjoyed a strong YoY growth rate due to the release of pent-up demand and increasing shipments of Transsion and Samsung devices into the market.

Transsion brands (Tecno, Infinix, and Itel) continued to lead Africa’s smartphone space in Q1 2021, with a combined unit share of 44.3 per cent, followed by Samsung and Oppo with respective shares of 22.9 per cent and 8.3 per cent. Transsion brands also dominated the feature phone market, with a combined unit share of 78.7 per cent, followed by Nokia and Stylo with respective shares of 8.1 per cent and 1.7 per cent.

The ultra-low-end price band (less than $100) accounted for 42.0 per cent of the market’s shipments in Q1 2021, down from 49.6 per cent in Q1 2020. Meanwhile, the low-end price band ($100 to $200) saw its share increase from 35.2 per cent to 43.3 per cent over the same period.

“The increased specs and attributes in smartphones are driving prices upwards, as evidenced by the growth of the low-end price band,” says Taher Abdel-Hameed, a senior research analyst at IDC. “The main vendors, like Transsion, Samsung, Oppo, and Xiaomi, all launched new feature-rich models in this price band. These models were well received by channels and customers alike, feeding the growth of low-end price band.”

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