Smartphone markets in Nigeria, South Africa enter early stages of recovery

Smartphone markets in Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya and other part of Africa, bounced back from two consecutive declines to post quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) growth of 4.4 per cent in Q3 2017.

According to insight from the International Data Corporation (IDC), in its Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, it showed that smartphone shipments for the quarter reached 21.7 million units, spurred by ongoing economic recoveries in some of the continent’s major markets.

It noted that Year on year (YoY), shipments were down -5.5 per cent, but this still represented an improvement on the YoY performance seen in the previous two quarters.

IDC explained that in the feature phone space, shipments totaled 33.7 million units, down -3.6 per cent QoQ after increasing for the three previous quarters.

However, YoY, the feature phone market was up 11.5 per cent. Feature phones still constitute a significant 60.8 per cent share of the total mobile phone market as they adequately address the needs of African consumers that have limited purchasing power and require a reliable long-lasting mode of communication, particularly those in rural areas.

Combining smartphones and feature phones together, the overall Africa mobile phone market saw shipments of 55.4 million units in Q3 2017, which represents a slight QoQ decrease of -0.7 per cent but an increase of 4.2 per cent YoY.

There were contrasting fortunes for the continent’s two biggest markets, with Nigeria seeing shipments increase 1.7 per cent QoQ while South Africa suffered a decline of -8.0 per cent over the same period.

A Research Manager at IDC, Ramazan Yavuz, observed that the Nigerian economy is slowly coming out of recession and “we’re seeing signs of steady improvement in consumer demand for mobile phones.

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