Samsung entrenches its SA smartphone dominance

A model poses with a Samsung Galaxy S6, right, and Galaxy S6 Edge smartphone. (Ahn Young-joon, AP, file)
A model poses with a Samsung Galaxy S6, right, and Galaxy S6 Edge smartphone. (Ahn Young-joon, AP, file)

Cape Town – South Korean electronics giant Samsung is leaving its smartphone rivals in South Africa in its dust, according to market research.

Samsung grew its local smartphone market share to 56.6%, well ahead of Vodacom's smartphone brands at 7.6% and Huawei (6.9%), according to the International Data Corporation (IDC).

While Apple is involved in a global struggle for dominance with Samsung, the iPhone maker has just 4% market share in SA, behind Nokia (now Microsoft) at 5.3%, IDC data shows.

“Samsung is a trusted brand in South Africa, has handsets across the affordability spectrum and is available in all operator branded stores and independent cellphone retail stores,” Joseph Hlongwane, research analyst for IDC Africa, told Fin24.

Samsung’s market share is an increase on the previous quarter when the company had 45.2%.

Price factor

The data also shows that more than a third (34.6%) of smartphones in SA are dual SIM.

The IDC also showed that while many South Africans are switching to smartphones, price is a key factor.

Handsets priced at less than $150 (or around R2 000) make up 58% of smartphones in the country.

That ties with data from the organisation that handsets priced in the $100 and $200 bracket have healthier growth than more expensive devices.

Hlongwane said that larger screens and camera technology were key differentiators as well.

“Currently I think the manufacturers can differentiate themselves on hardware ie bigger screens and high quality cameras for those selfies, and faster processors.”

He also said that native applications could see manufacturers jump their competition.

“Understanding the social dynamics of South Africa is very important, this will allow the manufacturer to manufacture cellphones and install applications that try to solve some of the social problems in South Africa, ie problems in education, at the right price. Having the right pre-installed applications will differentiate the manufacturer from the rest.”

Tell us why you love your smartphone brand.

Here is the IDC global smartphone manufacturer data:

IDC: Smartphone Vendor Market Share 2015, 2014, 2013, and 2012 Chart

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