Africa has fifty-four countries many of which still use feature phones. As per IDC data, the market share of feature phones rose from 55.4% in 2016 to 61% in 2017 while market share for smartphones fell from 44.6% to 39%. While many African countries are still dominated by feature phones, the largest smartphone market in Africa is Nigeria and South Africa.
As per a recent report by Canalys for the first quarter of 2018, Samsung currently has a strong position (23% market share) but Transsion Holdings is stronger (38% market share collectively). Transsion Holdings owns Tecno, iTel, and Infinix – three of the most popular brands in the continent. Individually, Samsung tops the African market with 23% market while Tecno, iTel, and Infinix account for 18%, 13%, and 7% respectively.
Despite @SamsungMobile leading the African market with 23% share in Q1 2018, Transsion's trio Tecno, iTel and Infinix collectively dominate the African smartphone market. Transsion's strong focus on Africa and a sound localized, multi-brand strategy continue to drive its growth. pic.twitter.com/s4AiwSF4hj
— Canalys (@Canalys) May 15, 2018
The fourth place brand is a popular Chinese brand – Huawei. Its performance is not that bad compared to previous quarters though it experienced a 3% decrease in sales, it still holds a decent 7% market share. It appears that the Chinese brands are becoming increasingly popular in the continent. Africa loves budget devices that would give a fairly average performance thus a company like Xiaomi will perfectly fit in but its presence is still inconsequential.