South African smartphone market plunges 23% - TechCentral

South African smartphone market plunges 23%

Shipments in South Africa’s smartphone market declined 22.9% in the first quarter of 2020, compared to the quarter ended December 2019, International Data Corp said on Monday.

The technology research and consulting firm said that although shipments are traditionally weaker in the first quarter than the fourth quarter, the main reason for the poor performance was the impact of Covid-19.

“The Covid-19 outbreak halted production in China, with the resultant supply shortages effectively severing smartphone shipments into the South African in Q1 2020,” IDC said.

“The country’s poor quarter-on-quarter performance was due to delays in shipments of mobile phone devices into the country,” said Arnold Ponela, a research analyst at IDC in a statement.

“Economic activity is usually slow in the first quarter of the year, but this was exacerbated by uncertainties caused by the Covid-19 crisis. With the negative impact of the pandemic on the economy, consumer demand declined substantially and channel activity was restricted due to lockdown measures and security issues.”

IDC said it expects South Africa’s overall mobile phone market to experience a further double-digit decline in the second quarter of 2020, again caused by Covid-19 lockdowns and restrictions.

Severely affected

“Consumer demand will be severely affected, with the majority of consumer budgets being directed towards essential consumption,” said Ramazan Yavuz, a senior research manager at IDC. “Throughout 2020, the fallout from the Covid-19 crisis will compound South Africa’s existing local and macroeconomic challenges. As such, we expect smartphone shipments to the country to decline 6.1% year on year for 2020 as a whole.”

Samsung continued to top the smartphone space in terms of overall smartphone shipments, accounting for 29.9% of the market’s units in the first quarter, IDC said.

“Samsung’s lead was driven by the launch of various new affordable and feature-rich models such as its new A-series and S-series ranges.”

Mobicel (17.7%) and Huawei (15.9%) followed in second and third place respectively.  — (c) 2020 NewsCentral Media

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