Smartphones and feature phones bounce back in Africa

Smartphones and feature phones bounce back in Africa

There’s been some Interesting news from research group IDC, which has reported a strong performance for Africa's smartphone market in the first quarter of 2021.

Newly released data from IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker service shows that Africa's overall mobile phone market enjoyed year-on-year growth of 14.0 percent in Q1 2021 to total 53.3 million units. The region's smartphone market grew 16.8 percent over the same period to 23.4 million units. The feature phone market was also a good performer: it was up 11.9 percent to 29.9 million units.

Apart from South Africa, where supply shortages and an unfavourable economic environment affected demand, there was growth in a number of markets, notably Egypt and Nigeria, where strong demand and increased shipments of devices into both markets helped growth.

IDC highlights Transsion brands (Tecno, Infinix, and Itel) as leaders in Africa's smartphone space, followed by Samsung and Oppo. Transsion brands also massively dominated the feature phone market, with a combined unit share of 78.7 percent.

The ultra-low-end price band (less than $100) was slightly down, accounting for 42.0 percent of the market's shipments in Q1 2021, compared to 49.6 percent in Q1 2020. However, the low-end price band ($100 to $200) saw its share increase from 35.2 percent to 43.3 percent over the same period.

IDC expects Africa's smartphone market to continue to grow in 2021.