Nigeria and South Africa’s Economic Struggles Are Starting to Hurt African Phone Sales
By Yomi Kazeem
Mobile phone shipments to Africa’s two largest economies for the first quarter of 2019 do not make good reading for phone makers and it’s not looking great for the current quarter.
Smartphone shipments to Nigeria dropped 11.9% to 2.3 million units in the first quarter from a year earlier. And overall phone shipments for South Africa dipped by 4% to 4.7 million units, according to a market report by International Data Corporation (IDC).
The dip largely mirrors both countries economic struggles with sluggish growth and high unemployment. Nigeria in particular was hit in the first quarter by a three-week embargo on shipments of Chinese mobile phone brands into the country and further exacerbated by widespread insecurity as well as the one-week postponement of the general election. The Nigerian economy grew by just 2% in the three months to Mar. 31, far off a target around twice that pace.
Photo courtesy of ICT4D.at.