South African smartphone sales rose by 7.2% in 2018

GfK South Africa’s latest report showed that the local smartphone market enjoyed substantial growth in 2018, despite a poor performance in the fourth quarter.

7.2% more units were sold in 2018 than in 2017, while the value of the market grew by 13.2% to just under R35 billion.

In the fourth quarter, however, unit sale growth declined by 8.7% when compared to the fourth quarter of 2017.

Smartphones costing R6,000 and above accounted for 9.7% of all unit sales in 2018, as well as 50% in total market value. Smartphones costing under R1,500 accounted for 61% of unit sales, but just 17% of market value.

“South Africa’s smartphone market has fragmented into low, mid, and high-end segments, with operators focusing for much of 2018 on driving volume sales in the entry-level and lower-end of the market,” said GfK South Africa.

“However, the dip in the fourth quarter indicates that operators chose to focus on value over unit sales over the Black Friday and Christmas period,” added the company.

TV and PC

The TV market, however, enjoyed a good fourth quarter – with sales climbing by 12.7% year-on-year, while the market’s value increased by 7.7% to R2 billion.

Other quarterly results included:

  • The IT sector declined by 9.1% in value year-on-year, driven by plummeting tablet and storage sales.
  • Mobile computers showed a small decline in unit sales and value, but desktop computers earned growth of 3.2%.
  • The photography market declined by 31% year-on-year.

Now read: Samsung Galaxy S10 – South African pricing

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South African smartphone sales rose by 7.2% in 2018