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China Seeks to Dominate the Smartphone Market in Africa as the Demand for 5G Heightens

China Seeks to Dominate the Smartphone Market in Africa as the Demand for 5G Heightens

  • Transitions Holdings, the manufacturer Tecno, Infinix, and Itel still have major shares in Africa, sitting at 48%.
  • This impressive market share is aided by the fact that Android is a highly predominant operating system in Africa due to its cheap prices and flexibility.

The constant pursuit of faster internet speeds and lower latency has prompted modifications to broadband cellular networks. What began as 2G, the first generation of wireless internet access, has now evolved to 5G.

5G promises a significant improvement from its predecessor 4G, which already accessed the internet at incredible speeds, with some reports placing its max speed at 100MB/sec. 5G promises to reach speeds of up to 1BG/sec, giving tech enthusiasts in Africa something to salivate over.

Unfortunately, infrastructures meant to house this service are scarce in Africa. Despite the interest Africans have shown in this new upgrade, the technology has not made enough of a grand entrance into the continent. The lack of 5G infrastructures could be attributed to the lack of 5G-enabled smartphones within the continent.

At 73.4%, 4G phones still dominate the smartphone market in Africa. However, this number could significantly change if 5G phones become more affordable. This is where China comes in, as they are set to flood the market with affordable 5G phones.

Although China’s smartphone market dropped by 14.7% owing to the pandemic, this didn’t leave much of a dent in their market shares in Africa; in fact, the demand for Chinese phones continues to rise.

Transitions Holdings, the manufacturer Tecno, Infinix, and Itel still have major shares in Africa, sitting at 48%. This impressive market share is aided by the fact that Android is an extremely predominant operating system in Africa due to its cheap prices and flexibility. Android accounts for 84% of the smartphones used in Africa, as it’s easy to find a decent android phone for less than $100.

According to the second quarter data reported by the US-based tech research firm International Data Corporation (IDC), 42% of phones being shipped to Africa fall within the $100 to $200 mark, 38% fall under $100, 14% fall between the $200 to $450 mark and 8% are above $450.

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In 2021, Statista.com reported that the average price for a 5G smartphone in the US was about $800, well above the amount an average African is willing to spend on a smartphone. However, as recently as last month, Nairametric released a list of 7 affordable 5G smartphones, all falling within the range of $100-$200. With the exception of one Samsung phone, all seven of them were Chinese.

With this, it’s easy to deduce that China is set to dominate the African smartphone market even more than it does now as 5G becomes more widespread.

Business Insider

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