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Here we go: Top 3 best selling smartphones in Africa
Few years ago, owning a smartphone was exclusively for the super rich. Then years later it became that of the super rich and the rich. Luckily for every one, technology has come a long way and now the middle class and the poor can have a taste of the smart phone experience. From the rich elites to the poor farmers, mobile technology giants have always found a way to take them along. Though tagging along may mean different things to different group of consumers but in a more broader context, it definitely means making devices for different class of consumers. The smart phone market in Africa and Nigeria generally defies business logic, mainly due to adverse economic situation, culture or just the good brand loyalty factor. Looking at global leaders in the Smartphone industry, one would probably be tempted to assume that these companies take the lead in the African market. This is however certainly not the case, after a little research and data from technology consulting firm IDC (International Data Corperation) we’ve put together the top three Smartphone vendors in Africa and just how much punch the carry.
Samsung phone


A Samsung galaxy tab A
Image credit: GSMarena.com
As expected, Africa’s top two economy: Nigeria and South Africa contributed significantly to the overall sales growth of the vendors in study with both powerhouses hitting a year-on-year growth rates of 136% and 56% percent respectively. The three leading vendors were Samsung, Tecno and Apple who boosted a combined market share of 55% of africa’s smartphone shipment in the first quarter of 2015. Unluckily for last year’s number three spot holder Huawei, Tecno did a perfectly good job of flooding the market with low-end quality devices. The IDC data showed that 45.1% of the smartphones shipped across Africa in the first quarter of 2015 were priced well below $100 with only 75% under under $200 which mean tecno with their less priced devices had a relative upper hand in the market.
iPhone 5
Image credit: GSM arena
“This price bracket seems to be the sweet point for most vendors launching in the region, as well as for established vendors looking to increase their shares by targeting the lower end of the market,” says Nabila Popal, research manager for IDC’s Mobile Phone Tracker in the Middle East, Africa, and Turkey.
“This has resulted in phones priced under $200 accounting for about 36% of the Middle East smartphone market, while at the other end of the spectrum the $450+ price band has seen its share fall from 25% in Africa and 48% in the Middle East a year ago, to 14% and 34% today.”
Despite having been industry top guns for years in Nigeria, Research In Motion’s BlackBerry did not do so well according to the report. The IDC found that BlackBerry continued to see acute declines, despite launching a number of devices including the Passport, Leap and Classic.
“The loss of the corporate segment, spurred by the continued uptake of bring-your-own-device policies among the region’s enterprises, has had an adverse effect on BlackBerry’s performance in the market,” said Isaac T Ngatia, a senior research analyst at IDC.
After critically reviewing the report, it was apparently clear that the three major vendors had different growth factors. While the upsurge in sales by Chinese brand techno was propelled by it cheap prices, Apple and Samsung relied partly on “perception of quality” and brand loyalty. BlackBerry in the other hand were struggling to keep up for reasons which are not clear but could include increased sales by other competing brands.
For the record sales statistics true or not announced by the top three brands in this report does not in any way necessarily reflect quality of the brand but is rather a function of the collective variable of price,brand patronage and perception of quality.

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