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Africa’s Smartphone Market Saw Significant Growth In Q4 2023

Data from IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, which was recently released, indicates that shipments of smartphones in Africa increased 12.5% YoY in Q4 2023 to a total of 19.8 million units. Due to the concentration of Chinese brands on the continent during a time of severe inflation, depreciation of local currencies, and shortages of foreign exchange, smartphone markets throughout Africa fared well. On the other hand, shipments of feature phones in Africa fell 7.8% to 20.9 million units during the same time.

“Kenya recorded the region’s highest YoY growth rate in terms of smartphone shipments in Q4 2023, coming from a low base when the market’s dominant brands reduced their shipments in Q4 2022 in an effort to manage high inventory levels,”¬†says George Mbuthia, an IDC senior research analyst. “Local assembly initiatives for low-end smartphones (below $200) also contributed to the strong growth seen in Kenya. In addition, mobile phone financing schemes have enabled consumers to acquire new smartphones by enabling payment installments over a long time period.”

Thanks to a strong push from Chinese businesses, Nigeria managed to overcome market volatility and a major devaluation of its currency to post Africa’s second-highest growth rate. The difficult economic climate and certain shipping delays at the nation’s ports contributed to South Africa’s YoY drop.

With its ultra-low-end smartphones (below $100), Transsion brands (Tecno, Itel, and Infinix) continued to rule the African smartphone industry. These devices were most appealing to a consumer base that was struggling with low purchasing power as a result of declining income and rising exchange rates. The Transsion brands were followed in second and third position, respectively, by Samsung and Xiaomi.

There is a significant demand for smartphones that are affordable. In Q4 2023, shipments of ultra-low-end smartphones (below $100) climbed 5.2% YoY to the region, while shipments of low-end ($100<$200) and midrange ($200<$400) devices increased 18.9% and 16.6%, respectively.

IDC projects 2.8% year-over-year growth in smartphone shipments by 2024. According to Ramazan Yavuz, a senior research manager at IDC, “Handset renewal cycles have slowed as smartphones carry better features, increasing their longevity, and are more durable.” “However, in Africa, the transition from feature phones will support smartphone growth in the short and medium term, while AI phones and 5G adoption will fuel Africa’s smartphones growth in the long term.”

About IDC

The leading worldwide supplier of events, advisory services, and market intelligence for the IT, telecom, and consumer technology sectors is International Data Corporation (IDC). IDC provides global, regional, and local expertise on technology, IT benchmarking and sourcing, industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries, with more than 1,300 experts globally. IT specialists, company leaders, and the investment community may accomplish their primary business goals and make well-informed technology decisions with the support of IDC’s analysis and expertise. As the world’s top provider of tech media, data, and marketing services, International Data Group (IDG) owns all of IDC, a corporation that was founded in 1964.

IDC in Africa, Turkey, and the Middle East

IDC maintains a coordinated network of offices in Riyadh, Nairobi, Lagos, Johannesburg, Cairo, and Istanbul for the Middle East, Turkey, and Africa, with a regional centre in Dubai. Our coverage offers a thorough grasp of markets in these dynamic regions by fusing local insights with global viewpoints. Our market intelligence services are unmatched in terms of comprehensiveness, reliability, accuracy, and scope. Across the area, IDC MEA now employs over 130 analysts, consultants, and conference associates.

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