Transsion, Samsung, Xiaomi lead smartphone market in Africa

Smartphone shipments in Africa declined 2.3 percent quarter on quarter during Q3 2021, according to IDC.
Smartphone user in AfricaComponent shortages began to negatively impact African markets in Q3 2021, causing a decline in smartphone shipments.

Africa’s feature phone market grew 14.2 percent QoQ Q3 2021.

Africa’s top three smartphone markets recorded mixed performances. Smartphone shipments in Egypt fell 19.5 percent QoQ. Smartphone shipments in Nigeria dropped down 9.4 percent. Chinese brands dominate the smartphone market in Egypt and Nigeria.

Smartphone shipments in South Africa increased 28.4 percent QoQ, with Nokia performing well with its C-series models. Samsung had a strong quarter in preparation for the festive season.

Transsion brands (Tecno, Itel, and Infinix) led the African smartphone market in Q3 2021 with a unit share of 47.4 percent, maintaining stable shipments into the region. Samsung placed second with 21.3 percent share, while Xiaomi — which experienced a QoQ decline in shipments — placed third with 6.1 percent share.

The average selling price (ASP) for smartphones in Q3 2021 fell 0.7 percent QoQ due to new models being launched in the entry-level price bands. The $0<$100 price saw shipments increase 5.9 percent QoQ, while shipments of devices in the $100<$200 and $200<$400 price bands declined 14.1 percent and 0.7 percent, respectively.

4G devices accounted for 81 percent of smartphones shipped into the region in Q3 2021, followed by 3G devices with 15.9 percent share and 5G devices with 3.1 percent share.

“The 5G market is still below its full potential in Africa due to poor telecommunications infrastructure,” says George Mbuthia, a research analyst at IDC. “4G will remain dominant as telcos are keen on recouping the huge investments they made in 4G infrastructure.”

IDC expects smartphone shipments into Africa to grow 7.6 percent QoQ in Q4 2021.

“A recovery in the supply chain is expected starting from the second half of 2022 when component shortages will start to ease. After this period, the transition from feature phones to smartphones will accelerate,” Ramazan Yavuz, a senior research manager at IDC, said.