The African mobile market is expanding at an alarmingly fast rate. With more people owning a cell phone on the continent now more than ever before, communication and technology advancements are expected to skyrocket in the region.
In the past, the Nokia brand had established a strong foothold on the African market, with some markets still dominated by the brand. The proliferation of smartphone technology has impacted almost every sector and industry globally, with this technology making inroads on the African continent steadily.
While the BlackBerry brand is still highly popular among many African markets (the phone is still very much considered a status symbol) various brands like LG, HTC and Korean tech giant Samsung are now also popular.
The latter brand is now dominating the African market, with a 50% hold of all the smart phone sales on the African continent.
Rival tech giant Apple is the favoured smartphone brand in the US and Europe, while developing markets in Asia, South America and Africa are still lagging behind.
While Apple products convey style and are regarded as a status symbol, they are often priced beyond the means of many consumers, especially those from Africa. For instance, Apple’s mid-range set of $100 phones is still too high for most African consumers.
Factors affecting iPhone sales in Africa:
One of the main reasons thought to be behind Apple’s change of course to target markets like Africa, is that there is heavy saturation in many mature smartphone markets.
Another reason is that the growing African middle class is driving consumer trends and Apple wants a portion of the mid-range smartphone market. Research has shown that iPhone sales skyrocketed by 133% in Africa in 2015.
The prepaid mobile market model dominates African countries, while those who can afford to buy an iPhone usually get it on contract.