Chinese phone brands, Xiaomi, Oppo, Huawei have stepped up an aggressive push for share of Africa’s rising mobile markets.
That’s one of the highlights of latest latest figures released by the International Data Corporation (IDC) that tracked mobile phone shipments across the continent.
The technology market research company found out that while Africa’s mobile phone market declined 2.1% quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) in Q3 2018, overall shipments for the quarter totaled 52.6 million units, with feature phone shipments falling 2.7% QoQ and smartphone shipments declining 1.3% over the same period.
Within the period, Chinese brands are now competing with feature-rich devices at competitive price points to drive up their market share across Africa.
According to IDC, while feature phones remain steadfastly popular across Africa, particularly in more rural areas, consumers are increasingly being attracted by smartphone offerings from Chinese brands such as Xiaomi, Oppo, and Huawei, which are actively targeting feature-oriented customers at more economical price points.
“There is a new wave of Chinese brands aggressively pursuing growth opportunities in the region, while the more-established Huawei is also accelerating its marketing efforts and expanding its distribution budget,” Ramazan Yavuz, a research manager at IDC says. “These brands have quickly progressed along the learning curve and evolved their offerings to perfectly reflect the realities of the region by addressing the diverse pricing and feature needs of the consumer base”, Yavuz says.
Overall Chinese phone maker, Transsion, and makers of the Tecno, Infinix, and Itel brands, led the feature phone space in Q3 2018, with a combined unit share of 58.2%.
Nokia was next in line with 11.7% share. Transsion, Samsung, and Huawei dominated the smartphone space with respective unit shares of 34.9%, 21.7%, and 10.2%. However, in value terms, Samsung led the smartphone market with 37.2% share, followed by Transsion (21.0%) and Huawei (13.0%).
There were differing fortunes in the region’s three major markets, with Nigeria recording a heavy 11.6% QoQ decline in mobile phone shipments, while South Africa and Kenya saw respective QoQ growth of 8.5% and 7.9% in Q3 2018.
IDC expects Africa’s overall mobile phone market to reach 58 million units in Q4 2018, spurred by the festive season and online consumer events such as Black Friday. The introduction of more affordable smartphones in the African market will help drive progress in this space over the coming quarters, while the share of feature phones will decline steadily as the transition to smartphones gathers momentum, according to IDC.