Smartphone sales soar in South Africa but mobile market overall falls in first six months
The first half of 2017 saw an increase in smartphone sales in SA of nearly 20 per cent compared to the same time last year according to point-of-sale data from market research firm GfK South Africa.
The data shows retail growth in SA’s mobile computer market flattened out, though the market is performing reasonably well considering the tight economy. However, the tablet market shrunk by about 40% in the first half of 2017.
“Growth in South Africa’s mobile phone market is predominantly driven by the introduction of extremely low-cost smartphones,” says Berno Mare, product manager of IT, office and photo at GfK South Africa.
“This is fuelling the transition from traditional mobile phones to smartphones. Another trend sees consumers enthusiastically adopt larger screen sizes of five inches and above.
“Brand loyalty and design are the main drivers in the premium market. Features are secondary in consumer purchasing decisions because most premium phones have excellent spec levels and similar functionality. In the credit-driven sector, the smartphone is a critical status symbol and screen size is a major factor in smartphone purchasing decisions.”
Notebooks experienced flat growth for the first half of 2017, with around 295,000 units sold through retail during the period. The same number was sold in the beginning half of last year. The same period in 2015 saw 360,000 units sold.