More than 90m smartphones will be sold in sub-Saharan Africa in 2019

Huawei Y9 Prime 2019

Global smartphone sales will top 1.5-billion in 2019, but it’s sub-Saharan Africa where the major smartphone sales growth can be found, according to data from Gartner.

The research firm noted that despite a 2.5% decline in sales globally, sub-Saharan Africa will see and increase of around 1.4-million devices sold. The region will see 90.1-million device sales in 2019, up from 88.7-million in 2018.

Read more: South Africa’s voracious appetite for IT will continue into grow in 2019

Lengthening smartphone replacement cycles and a ban on Huawei accessing technology from US-based suppliers weakened demand for smartphones in the first half of 2019,” said Annette Zimmermann, research VP at the company.

We expect demand to get even weaker in the second half as replacement of high-, low- and mid-end smartphones continues to slow, due to low value benefits.”

Sub-Saharan Africa is one of few regions that will see smartphone sales growth in 2019

Gartner believes that 5G’s firm arrival in 2020 will stimulate growth. It’s not clear when the first 5G networks will be live in South Africa, despite demonstrations and statements from the likes of Rain and Vodacom this year.

Either way, the research firm believes that just 15-million 5G smartphones will be sold worldwide in 2019.

Meanwhile, regions responsible for the current global sales slump include Japan (-6.5% sales), Western Europe (-5.3%) and North America (-4.4%).

Sub-Saharan Africa, along with the Middle East and North Africa, and Eurasia, were among the only regions where smartphone companies are set to enjoy more sales in 2019.

Growth in sub-Saharan Africa is also set to continue into 2020, with 1.8-million more devices predicted to be sold compared to 2019.

Graph data: Gartner

Feature image: The Huawei Y9 Prime 2019, by Andy Walker/Memeburn

Andy Walker


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