Chinese Phone Brands Dominate the African Smartphone Market, Report

A report by the International Data Corporation (IDC) shows that Chinese smartphone manufacturer Transsion is the leading seller in the African market in the second quarter of 2022. According to the report, the maker of Tecno, Infinix and Itel brands has a combined share of 48 per cent.

South Korean manufacturer Samsung takes second place with a unit share of  25.8 per cent. Another Chinese manufacturer, Xiaomi, the maker of the RedMi brand comes in third with a 6.6 per cent unit share in Africa.  IDC says Xiamo’s shipments fell 8.3 per cent in the second quarter, compared to the previous three months.

The continent has recorded a significant increase of 5G devices as shipments increased 26.9% in the last quarter. Notably, the 5G market is growing as major brands launch more flagship devices into the market.

George Mbuthia, a senior research analyst at IDC notes that the 5G market which includes foldable smartphones is facing slow adoption due to the high prices of these devices. “In the long term, these prices will decline and as the economic outlook improves, they will gain more market share,” Mbuthia noted.

The study shows that smartphone shipments to Africa were down 7.9 per cent, with a negative economic outlook, rising inflation, and component shortages impacting markets across the region.

Shipments of feature phones (commonly known as kabambe in Kenya) recorded a 10.6 per cent increase, attributed to their lower prices which offer a viable alternative for cash-strapped consumers.

The survey by IDC further cites South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya as the top three smartphone markets in Africa, with 16.6 per cent,13.8 per cent and 7.7 per cent respectively. All three lead markets recorded a shipment decline compared to the last quarter.

IDC expects smartphone shipments into Africa to grow 16.9 per cent in the third quarter and a further 9.5 per cent in the fourth quarter.

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Simon W Nderitu

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