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Nigerians Want Smartphones Below $100 As Disposable Income Drops


Shipments of smartphones to Nigeria was 5.3 percent in Q4, 2019, as demand for lower brands priced below $100 rose, owing to weakened disposable income of many Nigerians.

The International Data Corporation (IDC), which observed this, noted that while the overall African mobile phone market grew 3.8 percent year-on-year (YoY) in Q4 2019, Nigeria’s smartphone market expanded by 5.3 percent to total 2.9 million units in the last quarter.

According to IDC, brands including Tecno, Infinix, Itel, and Samsung continued to dominate the Nigerian market, launching various models and promotions with network operators to attract customers.

IDC, the global market intelligence firm, noted that in terms of price bands, devices priced below $200 accounted for 83.2 percent of smartphone shipments to Africa in Q4 2019, whereas the share of smartphones priced below $100 bands increased from 46.8 percent in Q4 2018 to 51.2 percent in Q4 2019 in Nigeria, South Africa, Egypt, Kenya, and others, while the share of devices priced $100 to $200 declined.

On the South African market, IDC said the smartphone market grew 2.2 per cent YoY in the period under review to total 6.5 million units.

According to Research Analyst at IDC, Arnold Ponela, said: “The increase can be attributed to seasonal factors, with Q4 traditionally being the strongest quarter of the year when demand is stirred by Black Friday and the Christmas season.”

Ponela said leading smartphone brands such as Samsung, Huawei, and Mobicel are offering feature-rich entry-level smartphone models. Network operators further enhanced this by providing discounted bundles and tariff plans to consumers.

Similarly, IDC said the Egyptian smartphone market grew 6.4 per cent QoQ as vendors offered devices with more competitive prices, larger screens, and improved features. The vendor landscape in Egypt is changing, with Oppo overtaking Samsung, the longtime dominant brand in the country.

Speaking on the prices, Research Manager at IDC, Ramazan Yavuz, noted that given the challenging macroeconomic conditions and subsequent increase in smartphone uptake in Africa, it’s no surprise that the sub-$100 segment was the clear hero in Q4 2019.

“Transsion’s success in Africa is based on its ability to match key phones from its main rivals, but at more attractive prices. The company has also established a reputation for ensuring widespread distribution of its phones and providing its channel partners with extensive marketing support.”

Meanwhile, over $100 million worth of hardware goods belonging to some Nigeria’s phone and computer vendors are currently still stuck in China.

The President of Phones and Allied Dealers Products Association (PAPDAN), Ifeanyi Akubue, said huge stocks, especially phones and computers are stuck in China.

Akubue, speaking with The Guardian, said the Coronavirus impact is huge on the Nigerian market, as major Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) supplying this market are based in China, and have not supplied since the outbreak of the virus.

“I can confirm to you that over $100 million worth of goods are currently stuck in China. Most of the OEMs have stopped production. Ours stocks are currently depleting. It is a sad situation. The world is confused. We can only pray and take caution,” he stated.

He appealed to the Federal Government to help ensure that the nation’s borders, especially the airport is not porous. “I think airport scrutiny should be taking more seriously. We can’t afford to face the epidemic as a country. You can imagine the number of deaths in China, and other countries. We need, as country to take more precautionary measures.”

Speaking more on the impact on the local market, the President, Computer and Allied Products Dealers Association of Nigeria (CAPDAN), Adeniyi Ojikutu, said if the situation persists, prices of products would definitely rise.

According to him, the situation has become worrisome, “because both goods and people are stuck in China. The CoVID-19 must be tackled as fast as possible before it crumbles both businesses and humans.”

From his perspective, the Public Relations Officer, CAPDAN, Olaifa Ademola, the situation has been pathetic. He stressed that vendors couldn’t get orders any more. Ademola said old stocks are fast depleting as products are stuck in China.

“My advice is that people should take caution. The virus is real, and no solution in sight. We are currently selling old stocks. I don’t know what will happen if we finished the old stocks, and the virus remains.”

According to him, high end brands such as Apple, Samsung are not really affected because some come from Europe and America, “but brands that are directly linked to China, the likes of Tecno, Infinix, Gionee are feeling the impact, and soon, I can say the prices will go up. So, I will say the problem is real. People should take caution.”


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