Newly-released data from IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker shows that Africa’s smartphone market saw shipments grow 7,6% year on year (YoY) in Q2 2023 to total 19,6-million units. This growth follows seven quarters of continuous YoY decline.

Among Africa’s three biggest smartphone markets, South Africa and Egypt both enjoyed strong performances in Q2 2023 and saw shipments grow YoY. However, the Nigerian market declined YoY despite recording growth on the previous quarter.

“In Egypt, the recovery was due to the fact that government restrictions on mobile phone imports were eased,” says Taher Abdel-Hameed, a senior research analyst at IDC. “The Egyptian government is encouraging local production through various incentives, and this has led to the launch of five mobile phone factories in the country. More brands are planning to start local assembly in the short term. These initiatives have helped spur a recovery and accelerate the market’s momentum in Egypt..

South Africa’s growth was driven by an increase in shipments of entry-level devices from Samsung and other local brands in an effort to address constrained consumer budgets. Nigeria’s decline was due to the country’s sluggish economy, high inflation rates, and poor exchange rates.

Transsion brands (Tecno, Itel, and Infinix) accounted for the largest share of smartphone shipments across Africa in Q2 2023, with the region contributing most to the Transsion’s entry into the Top 5 worldwide vendors for the first time. Samsung ranked second in Africa for Q2 2023, while Xiaomi came in third.

“Looking ahead, the African smartphone market is expected to recover further in 2024; however, it is worth noting that shipments will still not surpass the level of strong performance seen in 2021,” says Ramazan Yavuz, a senior research manager at IDC.

“The hardships and challenges posed by the global economic outlook continue to affect the region, preventing a faster recovery. In the long term, an influx of affordable models across all brands and faster turnover from feature phones to smartphones will drive growth in the market.”