African smartphone shipments rise

African smartphone shipments rise

Smartphone shipments in Africa grew 6% to 68.7 million units in full-year 2023 due to rising consumer confidence in H2. 

In Q4 alone, shipments rose 24% to 19.2 million, due to the rising demand for digital services, social media and payment plans for devices, according to analyst company Canalys. 

South Africa, Nigeria and Egypt were the markets driving shipments after experiencing “robust growth” despite challenges to their respective economies. 

Canalys Senior Consultant Manish Pravinkumar said in African markets consumers are shifting from feature phones to affordable smartphones, reflecting “strong consumer push for modernisation and improved connectivity, resulting in rising vendor-level activities in the entry-level segment.”

“African consumers want higher specs in entry-level devices, especially in RAM and storage due to increased digitalisation and social media use. New brands are using diverse products and partnerships to establish themselves in specific markets, while established players are chasing untapped market opportunities,” added Pravinkumar. 

The analyst added that smartphone shipments will continue to surge in Africa, as governments and operators will launch schemes to encourage smartphone adoption despite macroeconomic challenges constraining disposable income. 

Smartphones in the sub-US$100 bracket saw a 43% surge in year-on-year growth in Q4, with Transsion brands driving volumes as the brands from the company launched new low-end models in H2. 

Chinese vendor Transsion was the highest shipper for devices in Africa in Q4 with 9.8 million units, taking over half (51%) of market share. 

Samsung was second with 4.3 million units (22%), followed by Xiaomi  with 1.8 million units (10%). Fellow Chinese vendors Oppo and realme followed with 900,000 (5%) and 700,000 (4%) units respectively. Other vendors accounted for 1.7 million units equating to 9% market share. 

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