Transsion Holdings, a China-based smartphone manufacturer, led the African smartphone market in the second quarter of 2022, with a combined unit share of 48 percent, according to a new study by a global research firm.
Samsung, in second place, recorded an 11.3 percent quarter-on-quarter decline in shipments.
Xiaomi, behind Samsung, another Chinese manufacturer, had a 6.6 percent unit share in Africa in the second quarter; its shipments fell 8.3 percent from the previous three months.
George Mbuthia, a senior research analyst at IDC, said in the report that Africa’s smartphone market shipments of 5G devices increased 26.9 percent and their share of the overall market is growing as major brands launch more flagship 5G devices into the market.
He said the 5G segment includes foldable smartphones, although adoption of this new technology has been slow due to the high prices of these devices.
“In the long term, these prices will decline and as the economic outlook improves, they will gain more market share,” Mbuthia noted.
The study shows that smartphone shipments to Africa were down 7.9 percent, with a negative economic outlook, rising inflation, and component shortages impacting markets across the continent.
Shipments of feature phones, however, were up 10.6 percent, with their lower prices offering a viable alternative for cash-strapped consumers.
According to IDC, the top three smartphone markets in Africa by unit share were South Africa, which had 16.6 percent, Nigeria with 13.8 percent, and 7.7 percent for Kenya.
All three saw shipments decline from the previous quarter.
According to the study, smartphone shipments to Egypt, which traditionally ranks among the region’s top three, fell 62.7 percent, cutting its market share to only 4.3 percent, or sixth place in overall rankings on the continent.
This sharp decline in Egypt was blamed on restrictions on mobile phone imports as the government stopped approving letters of credit for non-essential goods.
The IDC expects smartphone shipments into Africa to grow 16.9 percent in the third quarter and a further 9.5 percent in the fourth quarter.
Ramazan Yavuz, a senior research manager at IDC, said the overall smartphone market will perform better in the second half of 2022.
“Channels will strive to secure greater shipment allocations as they look to manage supply shortages and capitalize on what is likely to be a high-demand period for smartphones due to December festivities and Black Friday promotions,” he said.