According to the latest figures from International Data Corporation (IDC), Kenya's smartphone market declined for the second consecutive quarter in Q4 2022, with shipments down 13.5% year on year (YoY).

The report by the global technology intelligence firm noted that the decline was primarily caused by supply shortages and inflation. Also, the increased exchange rate from the dollar during the quarter led to increased import costs and higher street prices, soaring consumer demand.

Samsung was the leading smartphone vendor in Kenya's smartphone market in Q4 2022 with a 31.7%-unit share. Meanwhile, Tecno took second place with an 18.8% share, and third-placed Infinix accounted for 9.2% of shipments.

In the price band segment, the share of smartphone shipments from the lower price band ($0<$100) declined YoY from 41.7% in Q4 2021 to 28.6% in Q4 2022. The mid-level price band ($100<$200), saw its share of shipments in Q4 2022 increase to 55.3% YoY as vendors shifted their portfolios to the price band to take advantage of higher profit margins. The premium price band (>$450) saw its share of shipments grow YoY, driven by new model launches and increased marketing investment in this segment.

In the outlook for 2023 as a whole, IDC analysts expect Kenya's smartphone market to remain relatively flat as economic uncertainty continues, with shipments growing by just 1.4%. The rapid transition to smartphones is also expected to continue in the year. Currently, smartphones account for 72% share of overall mobile phone shipments to the country.