Africa’s smartphone market declined by 18% in 2022 due to reduced consumer demand, inflation, and economic uncertainties.
South Africa, Nigeria, and Kenya were the top three smartphone markets by unit share, with Tecno and Itel dominating the market.
Experts predict a significant recovery in Africa’s smartphone market in 2023, anchored on the transition from feature phones to smartphones and the influx of more affordable models.
Africa’s smartphone market took a massive hit in 2022, with shipments to the continent dropping by 18%. The slump in consumer demand, inflation, and economic uncertainties globally impacted the market, leading to reduced smartphone shipments to the continent. Egypt and Tunisia recorded the most significant year-on-year declines of 63% and 33%, respectively, attributable to government restrictions on mobile phone imports.
The International Data Corporation (IDC) reports that South Africa, Nigeria, and Kenya were the top three smartphone markets by unit share. Chinese brands Tecno and Itel dominated the market, with devices costing less than $200 accounting for 82% of total smartphone shipments to the continent.
Despite the decline, experts predict a significant recovery in Africa’s smartphone market in 2023, with Dr Ramazan Yavuz, a senior research manager at IDC Middle East and Africa, anchoring his optimism on the transition from feature phones to smartphones, the rise in Africa’s young and technology-savvy population and the influx of more affordable models.
Meanwhile, Samsung maintained its dominance in the global smartphone shipment market, recording 260.9 million units in shipments to claim a 21.6% market share in 2022. Apple followed closely in the second position, shipping 226.4 million units with an 18.8% market share, despite recording a 4.0% year-over-year decline.
Despite the challenges, Africa’s young and technology-savvy population presents growth opportunities for tech companies in the coming years. The continent’s promising future is set to trigger growth in the mid-term, with a return to normalcy in the North African markets and more affordable models on the market.