Africa smartphone market surges 17.9% to 20.2 mn in first-quarter: IDC

The smartphone market in Africa rose 17.9 percent year on year to 20.2 million units during the first-quarter of 2024, IDC said.

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Feature phone shipments in Africa declined 15.9 percent to 18.8 million units. This marks the first quarter where smartphone shipments have surpassed feature phone shipments in Africa, highlighting a clear transition toward smartphones across the region.

“South Africa experienced healthy growth in Q1 2024, driven by the rising popularity and availability of competitively priced Chinese brands with advanced features,” says Arnold Ponela, a senior research analyst at IDC.

Nigeria saw robust growth fueled by the success of Transsion brands and Xiaomi, particularly in the entry-level segment, which significantly boosted shipments.

Kenya further strengthened its position as the third-largest smartphone market in Africa in Q1 2024, with innovative financing models like Mkopa driving sales growth.

Transsion brands (Tecno, Itel, Infinix) maintained their leading position in terms of smartphone market share, driven by their compelling entry-level device portfolio tailored to the African market.

Samsung and Xiaomi gained market share on the previous quarter, driven by mid-range ($200<$400) models. Overall, shipments of smartphones in this price range increased in Q1 2024, while shipments of <$100 devices declined, indicating a growing consumer preference for feature-rich models.

IDC expects Africa’s smartphone market to see shipments increase 5.7 percent in 2024.