TECNO Mobile has regained it top spot as Africa’s Top Smartphone Brand of the year 2020 after displacing Samsung Mobile, riding on a successful launch of models in the affordable segment and continued market spending, according to Counterpoint Research’s Market Monitor service.
The Transsion brand achieved this feat against the backdrop of a 6.7% YoY fall in Africa’s smartphone shipments in 2020. Much of the damage was done in the first half of the year due to retail and supply chain disruptions caused by COVID-19, which were partially offset by a swift recovery in the second half due to pent-up demand.
Speaking on the market dynamics, Senior Analyst Yang Wang said, “Looking at the entire year, the African smartphone market outperformed other regions but was not immune to disruptions caused by the pandemic. Q2 2020 was especially difficult as demand was hammered when most countries entered lockdowns. Smartphone shipments during the quarter saw a YoY drop of 27%.”
Wang added, “Restrictions started easing in July. Demand followed suit, riding on a surge in promotional activities, even as COVID-19 cases ticked upwards heading into the Christmas shopping season. Q4 2020 actually eked out a 1.5% gain in YoY terms, the best quarter on record.”
Speaking about smartphone prices in the African market, Wang said, “The ASP decreased 15% between 2018 and 2020, and today over 80% of Africa’s smartphone shipments come from the below- $200 band. We can expect further replacement of feature phones by entry-level smartphones, leading to the ASP likely remaining under pressure in the next few years.”
2020 also saw sales of the first 5G capable smartphones in Africa. 5G is unlikely to be a main factor in the African market in the next few years though, as the deployment of 5G commercial networks is still in its infancy in the continent. Still, there is room for 5G smartphones in Africa, especially if prices can drop below $200, as Counterpoint expects to happen in the near future.