South Africa’s smartphone market has fragmented into low, mid and high-end segments with operators focusing on driving volume sales in the entry-level and lower-end of the market, and on average revenue per user (ARPU) and value at the high-end.
This is according to Nicolet Pienaar, product manager at GfK South Africa, who said that while many more lower-end smartphones are sold each year, they account for a lower share of the value than mid-tier and high-end models.
“While high-end smartphones (R6,000 and above) only accounted for 9.7% of smartphone sales during 2018, (this segment) contributed almost 50% in value,” said Pienaar.
“In comparison, low-end smartphones (R1,499 and below) accounted for 61% of unit sales in 2018, but contributed 17% in value,” she said.
“It might also be interesting to note that Android has about 94% of the smartphone market.”
Pienaar added that sales, specifications, and features differ greatly across a range of smartphone price points:
- R1,499 and below: This market grew year-on-year by around 8% to roughly 8.2 million units for calendar year 2018. More than 63% of the units sold in this segment had a screen size of 4.5 inches and below, and 99% had 8GB or less storage;
- R1,500 to R5,999: Compared to calendar 2017, this market climbed 3.4% year-on-year to nearly 3.9 million units in 2018. Nearly 62% have between 8GB – 32GB of storage, and 57% have screen sizes of 5 inches and above. The majority of smartphones sold in this segment had a screen size of between 4.5 and 5 inches (42%);
- R6,000 and above: This market is showing solid growth, rising around 15% year-on-year to about 1.3 million units. About 74% of units sold in 2018 had screens sized between 5.6 and 7 inches and nearly 100% have least 16GB of storage.