This was the country's highest-ever annual smartphone shipment growth rate. 5G shipments during the quarter grew 31% YoY, driven by Honor. #pressrelease

March 1, 2024

1 Min Read

LONDON, BEIJING, BOSTON, BUENOS AIRES, FORT COLLINS, HONG KONG, NEW DELHI, SEOUL – South Africa's smartphone shipments grew 29% YoY in 2023, according to Counterpoint’s Market Monitor service. The growth was driven by the strong shipments in H2 2023 due to fierce competition among Chinese OEMs and multiple promotions by major OEMs. The availability of device financing schemes from operators and channel partners also enhanced smartphone accessibility and adoption.

For Q4 2023, South Africa's smartphone shipments soared 91% YoY with the major driver being HONOR. It was also the fastest-growing brand during the quarter and secured the leading position with a 24% share of the market. The HONOR Magic 4 Lite 5G and HONOR X6 models were its volume drivers. Other Chinese OEMs, including Xiaomi, TECNO and, also aggressively expanded in the market, with their shipments increasing by 86%, 80%, and 93% respectively.

In line with global trends, consumer preference in the country is shifting towards premium (>$800) smartphones. The segment saw an increase of 57% YoY, driven mainly by Apple which grew 83% during the year. The $150-$249 price band grew 26% YoY, as lower-end consumers (sub-$100) are upgrading their devices due to the higher value proposition offered by mid-range smartphones.

In terms of network technology, although LTE still dominates, 5G is fast catching up. 5G smartphone shipments grew 31% YoY, as 5G device prices continued to decline. The expected growth in 5G coverage in the next few years, particularly in city centers, will further boost 5G smartphone penetration in the country.

Read the full press release here.

Counterpoint Research

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