Nigeria has led the growth of smartphone shipments in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) by 135 percent followed by Kenya with 112 percent and Pakistan with 105 percent respectively, year-on-year in 2014, according to the Handsets Tracker released by International Data Corporation (IDC), yesterday.
The IDC’s research manager for handsets and display solutions in the MEA, Nabila Popal, said majority of the growth in the smartphone category was witnessed in countries that have larger populations but previously had low penetration rates. “Many new vendors have been eager to get into the region’s burgeoning smartphone space with a number of them launching phones in this growing price band,” he said.
The MEA smartphone market saw unprecedented year-on-year growth of 83 percent in 2014. Spurred by the increased availability of cheaper models and dual-SIM devices, the IDC said that smartphones accounted for 41.9 per cent of all mobile handset shipments to the region in 2014, up from 27 per cent in 2013, with the overall handset market expanding 19.6 per cent in volume year-on-year. Feature phones have been hit hard by the increased availability of more affordable smartphones with shipments down 4.5 per cent year-on-year in 2014. Indeed, smartphones priced under $100 captured 20 percent share of the MEA smartphone market in 2014, up from just five percent in 2013.
Additionally, the market share of smartphones in the $100–200 price bracket increased eight percentage points in just one quarter from 25 percent in quarter three 2014 to 33 percent in Q4 2014. Meanwhile, smartphones priced in the higher-end $250–500 bracket have seen their share of the overall market fall from 23 percent in Q3 2013 to 18 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014.
The growing popularity of dual-SIM smartphones is also helping shape the market with shipments of such devices increasing 34 percent year-on-year in Q4 2014. “Vendors such as Samsung and HTC launched variants of their flagship S5 and HTC One M8 models with dual-SIM capabilities. This strategy of targeting the mid and low end of the market has contributed significantly to the success of vendors like Huawei and Lenovo. Demand for such devices stems from the fact that a growing band of consumers wants to enjoy cheap cross-network calls and offers from multiple telcos and, therefore, retain more than one SIM card for their personal use,” said a senior research analyst at the IDC Middle East, Africa, and Turkey, Isaac Ngatia.
Originally published on Leadership.ng