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Nigeria’s mobile phone market bounces back in Q3 2020, says IDC

Nigeria’s mobile phone market has bounced back to post healthy growth in 2020 Q3, the global technology and consulting services firm, International Data Corporation (IDC), has said.

According to the IDC, Chinese brands continue to invest in the country as they attempt to penetrate the market and gain a foothold.

The figures indicate that smartphone shipments into Nigeria increased 13.7 per cent quarter on quarter (QoQ) in Q3 2020 to almost 3 million units.

International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets.

In its Quarterly Global Mobile Phone Tracker publication, the IDC said Nigeria’s smartphone market remained healthy in the third quarter as vendors shifted their model portfolios to entry-level and mid-range devices.

The statistics indicate the following:

  • Transsion’s Tecno, Itel, and Infinix brands dominated smartphone shipments in Q3 2020 with a combined 76.4% share.
  • Followed by Samsung, with 7.0% share and Xiaomi third, with 5.3%.
  • The average street prices of smartphones declined marginally by 0.3%, as the dollar exchange rate remained high.
  • The increase in VAT by 2.5% points also had a negative impact on prices.
  • With the relaxation of Covid-19 lockdown measures, a majority of consumers returned to the physical retail channel in Q3 2020, leading to a 21.5% QoQ increase in retail sales.
  • Feature phone shipments surged strongly in Q3 2020, with shipments increasing 21.2% QoQ to account for 56.0% of the country’s overall mobile phone market. Feature phones remained resilient as they continue to be the preferred secondary phone in an environment of declining consumer purchasing power and rising unemployment.
  • The major players in the feature phones space in Q3 2020 were Tecno with 49.7% share, Itel with 34.8%, and Nokia with 8.2%.

George Mbuthia, a Research Analyst at IDC, while commenting on the development, noted that “in light of the economic hardships caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, vendors continued to ship more affordable devices priced below $200, as they sought to address demand for cheaper models and penetrate consumer segments with lower purchasing power.

 “This strategy of offering more devices in the entry-level and mid-range price bands (<$200), ensured a faster market recovery from the weak performance seen in Q2 2020, which was heavily impacted by Covid-19.”

Mr Ramazan Yavuz, a Senior Research Manager at IDC also submitted that “IDC expects Nigeria’s overall mobile phone market to grow 3.1% QoQ in Q4 2020, with feature phone shipments increasing by 1.9% and smartphone shipments growing by 4.7%. Promotions from the end of November through the festive month of December will support the market’s growth in Q4 2020.

“Covid-19 will continue to pose a threat to the overall economy, in particular, to mobile phone markets. However, smartphone shipments will remain resilient in 2021, with customers moving from feature phones to smartphones and data usage increasing in the medium term.”

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