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Africa’s mobile phone market declines in Q1 2017 – IDC

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The overall mobile market in Africa was up 8.4%, primarily due to feature phone shipments. Overall mobile phone shipments for the first quarter of the year in Africa totalled 54.5 million units, down -8.2% from Q4 2016.

This is according to the International Data Corporation’s (IDC’s) Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, which shows Africa’s mobile phone market started the year off with a drastic quarter-on-quarter decline.

The prime driver of this downturn was a stark -17.6% decline in the smartphone segment, with shipments falling from 25.8 million units in Q4 2016 to 21.2 million units in Q1 2017, reveals the report.

IDC further found when viewed year-on-year, the overall mobile market in Africa was up 8.4%, primarily due to feature phone shipments growing from 26.6 million units in Q1 2016 to 33.3 million units in Q1 2017.

Feature phones have now been rising as a proportion of the total market for more than a year, which highlights the continuing importance of basic mobile communications in many parts of the continent, particularly in rural areas.

“Feature phones today still account for one in five of all mobile phones bought worldwide and the category is surprisingly larger than many think,” said Strategy Analytics director Ken Hyers.


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