Smartphone sales soar in SA, but consumers shun tablets - TechCentral

Smartphone sales soar in SA, but consumers shun tablets

Smartphone device sales in South Africa rose by 16% in the third quarter of 2018 as the consumer technology market showed resilience, despite the economy entering a technical recession.

This is according to research firm GfK South Africa, which found that more than 3.1 million smartphones were sold in the quarter, with smartphone revenues expanding by 19% year on year.

The overall technical goods market grew in value by 6.9% in the third quarter, according to point-of-sale data from GfK.

“The smartphone market — one of the largest segments of the South African consumer goods market by both value and unit shipments — continued to benefit from consumers migrating from feature phones,” it said on Wednesday.

“Panel television, smartphone and small domestic appliance sales continued to show resilience in the third quarter of 2018, even under difficult economic conditions, and even with many consumers holding onto their cash for Black Friday deals in November,” said GfK South Africa commercial head for market insights Kali Moahloli.

“Smartphone unit sales continue to be driven by midrange to entry-level devices, while price increases for new-generation models of high-end flagships from the leading brands are powering the growth in the value of the market. Feature phone sales are also holding up well, even as the market continues to transition to smartphones,” Moahloli said.

Tablet sales plunge

It wasn’t all good news, though. Media tablet revenues for the quarter dropped by double digits year on year. Consumers are now opting for cheaper tablets from lesser-known brands rather than purchasing high-end models from the major manufacturers.

However, mobile computing revenues grew by 21.4%, thanks to strong sales of both entry-level devices (R4 000 and less) and higher-specification devices costing R10 000 and more. Desktop sales also grew significantly, thanks to rising demand for midrange to high-end computers.

In TVs, demand for 4K-resolution sets with bigger screens coupled with a decline in prices had a positive influence on sales. Meanwhile, new market entrants and price competition helped spur good monitor sales in the quarter.

The photograph sector declined by 31% year on year, as consumers continued to seek out smartphones with good cameras rather than buying dedicated cameras for casual photography.  — © 2018 NewsCentral Media