As the world economy gradually recovers from the terrible impact of the Covid epidemic, record smartphone shipments recorded into the African market is a promising indication of a people healing economically.

The computer chip sector was seriously impacted by disruptions to the worldwide supply chain. Phone exports into African markets were severely impacted by this. At its worst, Afrika's mobile phone shipments fell 11,3% in Q4 2021, totaling 48.6 million units.

According to a recent analysis by Canalys, smartphone shipments from the continent increased by 6% to 68.7 million units for the 2023 fiscal year. In Q4 alone shipments increased 24% to 19.2 million, this as a result of growing consumer demand for digital services, social media, and device payment options.

South Africa experienced a significant surge in smartphone shipments, with a 29% year-on-year increase, driven by Chinese maker HONOR. With a 24% market share, HONOUR maintained its top spot throughout the quarter as the fastest-growing brand. Its volume drivers were the HONOUR X6 and HONOUR Magic 4 Lite 5G variants.

Following their aggressive global expansion, other Chinese makers saw a rise in shipments of 86% and 80%, respectively, including Xiaomi and TECNO.

“African consumers want higher specs in entry-level devices, especially in RAM and storage due to increased digitalisation and social media use. New brands are using diverse products and partnerships to establish themselves in specific markets, while established players are chasing untapped market opportunities,” remarked  Manish Pravinkumar Canalys Senior Consultant

Top smartphones makers in Afrika

Another Chinese maker Transsion whos brands include TECNO, Itel, and Infinix drove volumes of smartphones in the sub-$100 range in Q4, accounting for 43% of the year-over-year growth in this segment. H2 the company's brands debuted new low-end models. With 9.8 million units shipped, Transsion holds the largest Afrikan market share 51%, and was the top device shipper in Afrika during the fourth quarter.

Samsung came in second with 4.3 million units, equaling to a 22% market share on the continent. Xiaomi came in third with 1.8 million units and 10% market share. Oppo and realme, two more Chinese makers, came next with 900,000 unites amounting to a 5% market share and 700,000 devices 4% market share, respectively. Nine percent of the market, or 1.7 million units, were supplied by other suppliers.

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