TechInAfrica — According to the global technology research and consulting firm’s Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, the smartphone shipments of Africa has increased 9.8% quarter on quarter (QoQ) and 6.0% on year (YoY) in Q2 2018. Meanwhile, based on the latest insights from International Data Corporation (IDC), there were 22.4 million smartphones in total shipped to Africa within the second quarter of 2018.
The increased market demand was driven by the mounting popularity of the devices from low-end to mid-end. Transsion brands have been the leading of the continent’s smartphone space in the second quarter 2018, where it accounts for 35.4% of shipments. In the second place, Samsung followed with a 23.2% share.
In a contrary, the feature phone market went down 1.1% and 5.8 YoY in the second quarter of 2018 with the total shipments of 31.4 million units. However, these devices still raise a 58.3% share of Africa’s overall mobile phone market as it targets the low-income population of the continent. It provides basic mobile communications with competitive price. Both Telco and Itel keep on leading feature phone category in the second quarter of 2018 with a combined unit share of 59.9%. In the third place, HMD followed with 9.0% share.
Overall, the region’s combined mobile market was 53.8 million units in total in the second quarter of 2018 with more than 3.2 shipments QoQ and went down 1.2% YoY. As the continent’s biggest markets, Nigeria and South Africa were seen as a marked improvement in the performance of their mobile markets as it posted YoY increase of 13.0% and 25.0% respectively.
According to the Research Analyst of IDC, Arnold Ponela, “Speaking of consumer demand for mobile phones, the Nigerian economy tends to be stable and steady. The smartphone shipments of the country were 2.4 million units in the second quarter of 2018 and went up 15.8% YoY. It was followed by strong marketing support from telecom operator. Nevertheless, current currency issues and decreasing consumer purchasing power suggest Nigeria not to set a sustained surge in the shipments of smartphones.”
As the continent’s most developed communications market, South Africa’s smartphone shipments went up 17.4% YoY in the second quarter of 2018 with 3.4 million units in total. As a response to this, Ponela stated: “New entrant smartphones are now offering low-price to the South African’s market that have quite similar features to the leading brands,” said Ponela. “Due to the progressive pace, the transition from feature phones to smartphones reflects the domination of the low-end to mid-end range devices that priced lower than $150.”
By the IDC’s research, 4G LTE networks have reached across Africa with the shipment of 4G LTE devices increases 11.8% QoQ in the second quarter of 2018 to constitute 62.6% of the smartphone market. “Even though the entry-level of 4G smartphones have lower prices, operators find it hard to migrate clients to the newer technologies as they are already used to affordable 2G and 3G mobile devices.” Ramazan Yavuz, the Research Manager of IDC says. “African consumers are very sensitive with price, thus, they tend to stick with 3G phones. It seems like the situation will not change until 4G smartphones turn into much more affordable devices where African consumers are able to purchase.”
Judging by the current situation, IDC predicts Africa’s overall mobile phone market will increase 2.6% QoQ in the third quarter of 2018 with overall shipments to increase fairly through 2018, followed with YoY growth of 0.4% for the year as a whole. ”IDC makes a prediction that 5G smartphones will get in the market in 2020 while rollouts of 5G networks will reach African countries,” Yavuz says. ”Even so, the demand for feature phones does not seem to be sharply impactful as these smartphones will keep targeting areas where there is no LTE networks available.”