Samsung dominates SA tablet and smartphone markets

MARCH 29, 2016

South Korean electronics giant Samsung has the top-selling smartphone and tablet brand in South Africa, according to international researchers.

Samsung dominated South African smartphone sales in the last three months of 2015 with a 53% unit share, according to data from the International Data Corporation (IDC).

The growth came despite a weakening rand that did not deter consumers from buying smartphones. Sales of smartphones in South Africa grew 11% in volume and 22% in value on a year on year basis, said the IDC.

“The biggest growth comes from the mid-range smartphone class with more than 100% growth for both volume and value," Teboho Leshage, senior research analyst at IDC South Africa, told Fin24.

"The total market growth in Q4 2015 was along the expectations and the seasonality as Q4 is a festive season in South Africa and people opt to buy their kids and family smartphones as gifts,” Leshage said.

Meanwhile, Apple made a showing in second place because of the brand’s high Average Sales Price (ASP) of $852 (R13 203), resulting in volume growth of 50%.

“This growth can be attributed to the growth in the iPhone 6 Plus, which more than doubled its units from 2015 Q3. IDC has forecasted steady growth rates for smartphones for the 2016 - 2020 forecast period, to be expected, volume growth rates are forecasted to grow faster than the value growth rates,” said Leshage.

South Africans are still buying feature phones which made up 47% unit share, but only 4% value share because of low ASPs, said the IDC.

Tablet market

In the local tablet market, Apple and Lenovo came in second and third to Samsung, but sales are focused on lower priced devices.

“Samsung with the widest portfolio continues to dominate the tablet market, however, entry level tablets still accounted for majority of their sales,” Fouad Rafiq Charakla, IDC MEA senior research manager told Fin24.

“Bigger vendors like Samsung, Apple, Lenovo, Huawei are facing stiff competition from a number of white box players who still command close to 50% of the tablet market share in South Africa,” he added.