Africa’s smartphone market bounced back from two consecutive declines to post quarter-on-quarter growth of 4.4% in Q3 2017, according to the latest Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker from IDC.
Smartphone shipments for the quarter reached 21.7 million units, spurred by ongoing economic recoveries in some of the continent’s major markets. Year on year, shipments were down -5.5%, but this still represents an improvement on the YoY performance seen in the previous two quarters.
- Feature phone shipments totaled 33.7 million units, down -3.6% QoQ after increasing for the three previous quarters. However, YoY, the feature phone market was up 11.5%.
- Feature phones still constitute a significant 60.8% share of the total mobile phone market as they adequately address the needs of African consumers that have limited purchasing power and require a reliable long-lasting mode of communication, particularly those in rural areas.
- Combined smartphones and feature phones shipments totaled 55.4 million units in Q3 2017, which represents a slight QoQ decrease of -0.7% but an increase of 4.2% YoY.
- There were contrasting fortunes for the continent’s two biggest markets, with Nigeria seeing shipments increase 1.7% QoQ while South Africa suffered a decline of -8.0% over the same period.