The Middle East and Africa (MEA) handset market grew to its largest size in ten quarters in the second quarter of 2014, expanding 27 percent year on year to 64 million units, according to a report by the International Data Corporation (IDC).
According to the report, most of the growth was shown in the smartphone category. The smartphone share of the overall MEA handset market jumped a staggering 13 percentage points year on year to 40 percent, but reaching as high as 75–80 percent in some countries.
Within Africa, Egypt and South Africa posted the largest year-on-year handset shipment growth, at 37 percent and 32 percent respectively. In the Middle East, the honour was taken by the UAE and Qatar, with respective growth rates of 27 percent and 32 percent. The UAE, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Kuwait are leading the smartphone migration trend, with the smartphone share in each country surpassing 75 percent. Even for countries with lower smartphone penetration levels like Nigeria and Kenya, the share has doubled since this time last year.
According to telecompaper, the report also revealed that, in the smartphone class, Samsung remained the comfortable leader with 45 percent of the MEA market; however, its share is down 8 points from a year ago. Huawei’s share had climbed from 2 percent to 10 percent, putting the vendor in second place, ahead of Apple (8%) and Nokia (6%). BlackBerry continues to suffer, enduring the biggest drop in smartphone market share of any vendor, from over 12 percent in 2013 to just under 2 percent this year. In the feature phone segment, Nokia is still top with 35 percent share, although this is down from 47 percent in the second quarter of 2013.
Africa is definitely booming when it comes to smartphones.