SA's smartphone sales climb 16% in Q3

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Smartphone revenue in SA expanded by 19% in the third quarter of 2018, says GfK.
Smartphone revenue in SA expanded by 19% in the third quarter of 2018, says GfK.

Smartphone sales in SA rose by around 16% to 3.15 million units in Q3 of 2018 compared to the same quarter last year.

This is according to the latest research from GfK, which notes smartphone revenue in SA expanded by 19% over the same period.

GfK points out that SA's technical consumer goods market enjoyed a boost from strong sales of telecom devices in the third quarter of 2018.

It adds that the overall technical goods market grew in value by 6.9% for Q3 2018 when compared to Q3 2017.

The smartphone market, one of the largest segments of the South African consumer goods market by both value and unit shipments, continued to benefit from consumers migrating from feature phones to smartphones, says the market analyst firm.

"Panel television, smartphone and small domestic appliance sales continued to show resilience in the third quarter of 2018, even under difficult economic conditions and even with many consumers holding on to their cash for Black Friday deals in November," says Kali Moahloli, commercial head for market insights at GfK South Africa.

"Smartphone unit sales continue to be driven by mid-range to entry-level devices, while price increases for new-generation models of high-end flagships from the leading brands is powering the growth in value of the market. Feature phone sales are also holding up well, even as the market continues to transition to smartphones."

In the information technology segment, media tablet revenue for the quarter dropped by double digits year-on-year, says GfK.

It explains that consumers purchasing tablets are now opting for cheaper devices from lesser-known brands rather than purchasing high-end models from the major manufacturers.

On a more positive note, mobile computing revenue grew by double digits of 21.4% in Q3 2018 against Q3 2017, thanks to strong sales of both entry-level devices (R4 000 and less) and higher-specification devices costing R10 000 and more.

Desktop sales also grew significantly, thanks to rising demand for mid-range to high-end computers, GfK notes.

Other highlights from Q3 2018 include: consumer electronics revenue growing by 6.4% in Q3 2018 in comparison to Q3 2017, with speakers (especially mini-speakers) and panel TVs performing well.

Ultra-high-definition technology, price drops and larger screen sizes all had a positive influence on panel TV sales, says GfK, adding that new market entrants and price competition helped spur good monitor sales in the quarter.

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