Exploding Growth: Africa’s Smartphone Market Surges 12% in Q3 2023, According to Canalys Report

The smartphone market in Africa is growing, with a 12% increase in shipments in the third quarter of 2023 compared to the same period last year. According to Canalys, a total of 17.9 million smartphones were shipped in Africa between July and September 2023.

Transsion, the company behind popular brands such as Tecno, Infinix, and iTel, maintained its lead in the market with a 48% market share. This is almost double the market share of the second-leading company, Samsung.

Despite macroeconomic challenges, the region showed strong demand and supply resilience. South Africa, for example, experienced a 20% growth in smartphone shipments, even with rapid currency devaluation.

Customers in Africa are particularly interested in mid-tier devices with big screens and long battery life, especially in countries like Nigeria and Egypt. Xiaomi has prioritized the sales of its Redmi Note 12 4G, Redmi 12, and Redmi 12C variants to meet this demand.

Egypt, which faced a currency shortage due to the war in Ukraine and the exit of indirect investment, saw a 19% increase in smartphone shipments after resolving its import curbs.

In addition to Transsion and Xiaomi, Samsung also made strategic moves in the market by promoting its foldable devices to secure a position in the premium segment, which is not as popular in Africa.

To address the challenges of limited Google Mobile Services on its Android devices, Huawei is working with local software suppliers to enhance the usability of its Huawei Mobile Services in Africa.

While the growth in the African smartphone market is expected to continue, Canalys anticipates that the demand will slow down, with growth limited to a single-digit percentage in 2024.

Despite the growth, there are still obstacles in the African smartphone market, including currency devaluation, import taxes, and government initiatives to promote local products, which can lead to increased costs and prices for imported goods like smartphones.

Overall, the smartphone market in Africa is showing promising growth, with a diverse range of companies making strategic moves to meet the demands of consumers in the region.