As Africa’s Mobile Phone Shipments Fall, Tecno, Itel and Infinix Continue to Dominate the Market

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feature phones Transsion Holdings Plans A Huge Stock Market Listing, But No IPO
Transsion’s feature phones have remained quite popular in Africa

Africa’s mobile phone shipment fell for the first time this year according to a new research from International Data Corp (IDC).

The statistics, according to the Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, shows that in the third quarter (Q3) of 2018, 52.6 million units were shipped into the continent signifying a decline of 2.1% quarter on quarter (QoQ). With Feature phone shipments falling 2.7% QoQ and at the same time, shipment of smartphone declining 1.3%.

Transsion Holdings Leads the Pack

Transsion Holdings brands (Tecno, Infinix, and Itel) led the pack for the feature phone space, with a combined market share of 58.2%. With Nokia next in line at 11.7% share.

Feature phones are mobile phones that incorporate features such as the ability to access the internet and store and play music but lack the advanced functionalities of a smartphone.

Also, Transsion continues its dominance on the smartphone space with a unit share of 34.9%, beating Samsung and Huawei who had 21.7%, and 10.2% respectively.  However, in terms of value, Samsung led the smartphone market with 37.2% share, followed by Transsion (21.0%) and Huawei (13.0%).

Transsion Holdings Plans A Huge Stock Market Listing, But No IPO
Transsion Holding is the owner of popular brands such as Tecno, Infinix and Itel

Transsion Holdings’ continued dominance in the African phone space with its Tecno, Infinix and itel brands, does not come off too shocking. This is because of the company’s strong presence, productive output, availability, and distribution network. The company has also carved a niche for itself with its creation of a variety of affordable feature phones/smartphones which targets the low and middle – income consumers in Africa.

Nigeria Suffers Biggest Decline

According to the report, in Nigeria – Africa’s biggest handset market, there was a heavy 11.6% QoQ decline in mobile phone shipment. The decline is reportedly as a result of Nigeria’s slowdown in government spending, ongoing warfare in the country’s northern states, and market uncertainty in the lead up to elections.

However, in other major markets around Africa – South Africa and Kenya notably, there was an increase in mobile phone shipments. South Africa and Kenya saw a QoQ growth of 8.5% and 7.9% respectively in Q3 2018.

Growth in Q4?

3 Reasons Africans Bought Less Smartphones in 2017

IDC expects Africa’s overall mobile phone market to reach 58 million units in Q4 2018. This would represent an increase of about 6 million from Q3. The increase is expected to be spurred by the festive season and online consumer events such as Black Friday.

Also, the introduction of more affordable smartphones from Chinese brands such as Xiaomi, Oppo, and Huawei in the African market will help drive progress in this space. As such, the share of feature phones is expected to decline steadily as the transition to smartphones gathers momentum.


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