Smartphone market in Africa dips 3.4% to 17 mn: IDC

Smartphone market in Africa fell 3.4 percent quarter on quarter (QoQ) in Q1 2023 to 17 million units, IDC said.
Kazakhstan mobile networkRising inflation and local currency depreciations against the US dollar have negatively impacted demand for smartphones across Africa, IDC report said.

Shipments of feature phones across Africa also declined in Q1 2023, although not to the same extent as smartphones. Feature phones remain relatively affordable and are still the preferred secondary device option for many consumers.

“The average selling price (ASP) for smartphones grew QoQ due to high import costs and the fact that many vendors’ flagship devices are now equipped with 5G and have therefore moved up in price to the premium segment,” says George Mbuthia, senior research analyst at IDC.

Africa’s top three smartphone markets recorded a mixed performance in Q1 2023.

South Africa and Nigeria both saw shipments decline QoQ, while the Egyptian market registered growth.

South Africa was impacted by seasonality issues and weak demand, meaning vendors were unable to bring in new units while they continued to clear the channel.

Egypt remains below its potential, but local assembly is picking up in the country and the government has now dropped its letters of credit requirement for vendors, both of which have helped the market to recover from its low base.

Transsion (Tecno, Itel, and Infinix) accounted for the largest share for smartphone shipments across Africa in Q1 2023, despite experiencing a decline in units. Samsung placed second, while Xiaomi came in third.

“Greater currency stability against the dollar will promote more stable pricing, and this is also expected to ease import costs and thus lower ASPs in the market, helping to spur slight growth throughout the remainder of the year,” says Ramazan Yavuz, senior research manager at IDC.