China's Transsion Holdings dominates Africa smartphone market
China-based smartphone manufacturer, Transsion Holdings topped the African smartphone market in the fourth quarter of 2021 with a combined unit share of 47.9%.
According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), Transsion, the company behind brands including Infinix, Tecno and Itel, outpaced Samsung and Xiaomi with respective shares of 19.6% and 7.1%.
The report also shows that Transsion dominated feature phone market with a combined unit of 78% followed by Nokia (8.6%) and Alcatel (2%).
Market research also showed that Africa’s overall mobile phone market suffered a year-on-year (YoY) decline of 11.3% to a total of 48.6 million units.
It added that Africa’s major smartphone markets all experienced a downturn in Q4 of 2021, except for South Africa which saw slight YoY growth.
The report cited global supply shortages as the main reason for the decline seen across the region, while Egypt, for example, experienced challenges following the introduction of a 10% new tariff on mobile phone imports.
Research showed that low end price bands (less than US$200) have continued to dominate Africa smartphone market in that quarter, with 81.1% share of shipments, although this was down from 86.8% in the same period of 2020.
The midrange price band (US$200 to US$400) saw its share increase from 10.1% to 14% over the same period, the report continued.
The growth in the midrange price band, the report said can be attributed to the launch of new feature-rich models by key vendors like Sumsung, Xiaomi and Transsion and that this price band is expected to maintain its growth momentum over the long term.
Looking ahead, the report said IDC expects the Africa smartphone market to grow 3.8% YoY in unit terms for 2022 as a whole.
Senior research manager at IDC Ramaza Yavuz said, “Mobile phone imports constitute a notable portion of the current account deficit in many African countries. Considering macro-economic challenges faced by economies across the region, African governments will keep an eye on taxes and import tariffs on mobile phones. New import tariffs and increased tax rates have been implemented in North African countries and similar changes can be expected in many other African markets in the near future.”
Telecommunications analyst at the Computer Society of Zambia Amos Kalunga commented: “Improved networks by telecom operators and generally the ability by many people to afford a smartphone are having a significant contribution to the growth of smartphones ownership and usage in the region.”