In 2022 mobile device sales collapsed by 18% in Africa, where only 73.4 million smartphones were sold on the continent.
In Africa, five countries already had a cell phone ownership rate of 94% or more by 2021. This means that almost all of their inhabitants currently own a mobile communication device. This is Gabon (96%), Morocco (96%), Ivory Coast (94%), Mauritius (94%), and Eswatini (94%), according to a study conducted on 34 African nations by Afrobarometer.
This very high level is the result of actions taken in recent years by telecom operators to bring more affordable devices to the market. Information and communication technology (ICT) players have clearly understood the challenge of the African continent, an area that is experiencing rapid demographic expansion (4.5 billion inhabitants expected in 2030) and strong economic growth (over 5%). In terms of ICTs, the figures are just as enticing: cell phone penetration exceeds 80%, and fiber optics are being deployed. New players are emerging, notably India and China.
But by 2022 mobile device sales have collapsed by 18%. Only 73.4 million smartphones have been sold on the continent, with 2/3 of sales made by 3 manufacturers, Samsung, and the Chinese Tecno and Itel. We also note that this market is dominated by low-cost devices: 82% of sales are of smartphones priced below 200 dollars. In two countries of the continent, the drop in sales is even dizzying. Thus, Egypt and Tunisia recorded a decline in the mobile market of 63 and 33% respectively!
In Egypt, this big blow is mainly attributable to new import taxes that have led to a surge in prices and a big strain on available stocks. The serious economic crisis that the country is currently experiencing has not helped the sector either. In Tunisia, it is somewhat the same, with a drastic increase in customs tariffs and import taxes. On the other hand, Kenya and South Africa are doing even better than the world average (-11%) with sales declines of only 4 and 5% respectively.