The International Data Corporation (IDC) has reported an 18% drop in Africa's smartphone market in 2022 compared to the previous year, with Egypt and Tunisia experiencing the greatest year-on-year declines of 63% and 33%, respectively.
This significant slump was driven by a reduction in consumer spending due to inflation and economic uncertainties. It was not unique to Africa, however, as smartphone shipments dipped across major markets globally last year, with the global smartphone market experiencing an 11.3% decline.
South Korea's Samsung, and Chinese brands Tecno and Itel, accounted for 65% of the total shipments, with devices costing less than $200 making up 82% of the total smartphone shipment. This suggests why budget Chinese products dominated the freight.
Egypt's smartphone shortage is due to new taxes and import restrictions, with import payments required through letters of credit, while Tunisia was affected by increased customs tariffs and taxes on smartphones. Kenya and South Africa recorded a 4% and 5% year-on-year decline, respectively, they were the least affected.
Dr. Ramazan Yavuz, a senior research manager at IDC Middle East and Africa, explained that Kenya was able to post a relatively low decline due to its asset financing platforms and being a feeder market to the East Africa subregion. South Africa, meanwhile, benefited from Chinese brands spotlighting the country, local brands flexing back, and relief grants paid by the government.