Samsung is No. 1 in Africa
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Writer and Social entrepreneur.

So details and viable statistics has been released on the number and brand of phones shipped into Africa in the last year, 2016. Though it might not be what you expected, the reports further cemented Samsung’s place as king in Africa.

Samsung is No. 1 in Africa
Samsung is No. 1 in Africa

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In total, 215.33 million mobile handsets were shipped in Africa in 2016. This number represents a growth of 10.1% from the previous year. However, it was feature phones that were largely responsible for this growth, with shipments increasing by 16.1% in 2016 to total to 119.97 million units.

Just that this time, feature phones increase their unit share of Africa’s overall handset market from 53% in 2015 to 56% in 2016. With Transsion brands (Tecno, Itel and Infinix) comfortably outperforming the competition in 2016. I don’t really know but this could well be as result of the current economic situation in the whole of Africa, which might have prevented most people from affording the usual luxury, thereby turning to much lesser feature phones.

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Samsung which had always led, continued its run to lead the African smartphone market in 2016 with 27% market share. However, at 26 million units, Samsung’s smartphone market share dropped by about 2.5%. The second-placed smartphone brand was Transsion-owned Tecno with a market share of 12% (11.5 million units), followed by Huawei at 8% market share (7.7 million units).

I don’t know if I should be disappointed in infinix or maybe I just expected too much from them given the popularity of their phones amongst African users. Also Tecno, whose major focus is in the African market should have had a better market share than the quoted percentage above.

Itel comes in third at 6% market share (5.7 million units) and Infinix follows at 3% market share (2.8 million units). Lenovo saw flat growth while ZTE and Alcatel both suffered slight declines. The Transsion domination at the top of the list is clear, with the company taking up 21% of the African smartphone market, falling slightly behind Samsung and miles away from Huawei.

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More stats affirm that 3G handsets continue to account for more than half of all new smartphone shipments in Africa, although 4G devices saw year-on-year growth of more than 50% in 2016 (obviously). According to an IDC prediction, by 2018, 4G handsets will account for more than half of new smartphone shipments in Africa, as prices for entry-level 4G phones drop and the number of 4G networks across the continent grows.

Well, this is Africa, and guess who’s still king, – SAMSUNG.

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