Tuesday, July 16, 2024
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Samsung dominates South Africa’s smartphone landscape – MyBroadband


Myles Illidge

Samsung has dominated South Africa’s smartphone market for several years, with Apple only taking second place from Huawei in mid-2023.

MyBroadband tracked smartphone vendor market shares in South Africa from November 2019 to November 2023 using data from StatCounter GlobalStats.

StatCounter GlobalStats analyses over 5 billion monthly page views of around 1.5 million websites to determine the leading brands and vendors in various industries and regions.

Samsung’s dominance in the country is understandable, as it produces and sells a range of budget-friendly and mid-range smartphones that have proved popular in South Africa.

Its market share has climbed to over 50% in November 2023 from 44.8% in November 2019.

The South Korean manufacturer’s hold of the South African smartphone market has increased steadily over the past five years, with only two dips in the period in May 2020 and May 2023.

Huawei held the second-highest smartphone market share in the country from November 2019 to around March 2023, when it lost the spot to Apple.

Its market share rose from 26.91% in November 2019 to 29.12% in November 2020, after which its share dropped sharply to 15.09% in November 2023.

The drop began after the United States Department of Commerce and Bureau of Industry and Security added Huawei to the “Entities List”.

This blocked Huawei from offering Google apps on its smartphones — including the Google Play Store, YouTube, Google Maps, and Gmail.

Although it offers workarounds for most of these, many users were scared off by the United States sanctions.

Apple’s South African smartphone market share was 13.27% in November 2019. Its holding has increased steadily since, reaching 19.13% in May 2023 before dropping to 16.59% in November 2023.

Oppo’s rise in popularity in South Africa is impressive. Like Samsung, it produces various budget-friendly devices that have allowed it to grow its market share in the country.

Until November 2021, the brand was included in the “Other” category of StatCounter Global Stats’ data, as it wasn’t notable enough to list separately.

However, its market share rose rapidly to 1.64% in May 2022 and has continued to climb, reaching 3.30% in November 2023.

Based on StatCounter Global Stats’ data, the most comparable brand to Oppo is Xiaomi, whose market share has grown from 0.81% in November 2019 to 3.44% in November 2023.

Oppo’s market share grew to almost match Xiaomi’s in the space of two years, while the latter took more than five years to achieve its current market share.

The “Other” category includes manufacturers like Nokia, Vivo, Hisense, and several unknown brands.

The table below shows smartphone vendors’ South African market shares in six-month intervals from November 2019 to November 2023.

South Africa Smartphone Vendor Market Shares
Date Samsung Apple Huawei Xiaomi Oppo Other
November 2019 44.80% 13.27% 26.91% 0.81% 0.00% 14.21%
May 2020 44.61% 15.49% 28.91% 0.83% 0.00% 10.16%
November 2020 45.81% 15.18% 29.12% 0.95% 0.00% 8.94%
May 2021 45.87% 15.14% 28.57% 1.16% 0.00% 9.26%
November 2021 47.52% 15.65% 25.87% 1.57% 0.00% 9.39%
May 2022 48.33% 16.31% 22.73% 2.33% 1.64% 8.66%
November 2022 48.74% 17.21% 19.93% 2.75% 2.49% 8.88%
May 2023 48.30% 19.13% 17.76% 2.80% 2.67% 9.34%
November 2023 50.37% 16.59% 15.09% 3.44% 3.30% 11.21%

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