African mobile market continues to soar

January 16, 2014

New research figures show the mobile phone market continued to grow during the second half of 2013, with sales up 22% on average in sub Saharan Africa. Samsung, Tecno, LG and Huawei all powered by android followed by Nokia, Lenovo, ZTE and HTC phones as well as Blackberry did particularly well across Africa, recording a 30% increase in shipments, according to a continental mobile phone sales tracker. It is not just smartphone vendors that have driven the market forward in Africa but also the companies with a presence among entry-level handsets and mid-range devices like Nokia and Tecno, which have long been the domain of the African market leaders. Samsung managed to maintain its lead with 38% share, followed by Nokia at 27 %, Tecno at 16%, LG Electronics 5%, Blackberry 7% and Sony at 1.25% with rest taking the remaining market. However, these five companies are not expected to hold for long. The upward pressure from vendors outside the current top five vendors, particularly iPhone and other Asian manufacturers will provide tough competition in the quarters to come.

Expecting a livelier smartphones markets in 2014, most brands operating in African market have vowed to beef up their product portfolio and some like Huawei have launched series of marketing campaigns to popularize their phones and are putting up a good competition as they aggressively position themselves to sustain the growing popularity of smartphone in world’s second largest mobile phone market. Africa is one of the fastest growing smartphone markets worldwide with a market size that hit 100 million last year and is expected to reach 150 million units this year. The mobile phone market is forecasted to grow at 10% year on year in 2014, with African market smartphone shipments expected to surpass 50 million units for the first time in a single year. Companies are bullish on the growth prospects of the smartphone market in the African market and the launch of various brands late last year is a reflection of the belief in the potential and importance of the African market for global brands operating in the continent. Most of the phones being sold in African markets today come preloaded with customized applications for convenient sharing of videos, photos, and documents, malicious software protection and data restoration and 9 out of every 10 sold are Internet enabled phones.

Contador Harrison