Samsung leads African smartphone business ahead of Huawei

African smartphone shipments increased 4 percent quarter on quarter in Q3 2019 to 22.6 million units, according to IDC.
Africa smartphone market Q3 2019Africa’s overall mobile phone market reached 55.8 million units in Q3 2019. Feature phones account for 59.4 percent versus smartphones at 40.6 percent in Africa.

The growth in the smartphone space in Afriva was driven by the performance of Nigeria, South Africa, and Egypt.

Transsion brands such as Tecno, Infinix, and Itel continued to lead the feature phone space in Q3 2019, with a total share of 64.0 percent. Nokia was next in line with 10 percent share.

Transsion with 36.2 percent, Samsung with 23.9 percent, and Huawei with 11.4 percent are the leaders in the smartphone space in Africa.

Samsung is the clear leader with 33.2 percent share, followed by Transsion with 22.4 percent and Huawei with 15.6 percent share in value terms.

Samsung launched its new A series of devices driving significant increase in Samsung’s shipments across most African countries.

Samsung recorded year-on-year growth of 61.4 percent in the low-end price band ($100-$200) in Q3 2019, and its move into this space has pushed Chinese brands to offer more affordable devices.
Local African brands’ smartphone volumes declined 33.6 percent year on year in Q3 2019.

Africa’s smartphone market is also changing from a price band perspective, with the $100-$200 category seeing its share of shipments increase from 31.4 percent in Q3 2018 to 39.8 percent in Q3 2019.

Ramazan Yavuz, research manager at IDC, said 4G smartphones dominate the market in Africa, accounting for 73.0 percent of shipments.

IDC forecasts that Africa’s overall mobile phone market will touch 218.2 million units in 2019. Smartphone shipments in Africa will reach 91 million units, registering 3.2 percent increase. Feature phone shipments are expected to remain flat at 127.2 million units for 2019.

The IDC report did not reveal 5G smartphone trends in Africa.