Connect with us

News

Nigeria, Ghana Smartphone Markets in Good Shape in 2019 as COVID-19 Casts a Dark Shadow

Published

on

Kindly share this post

Nigeria’s smartphone market grew 5.3% quarter on quarter (QoQ) in Q4 2019, according to the latest figures from global technology and consulting services firm International Data Corporation (IDC). This growth comes on the back of a 3.2% QoQ increase in Q3 2019 after the market suffered a slow H1 2019, which translated into a 3.5% year-on-year (YoY) decline for 2019 as a whole. Meanwhile, Ghana saw smartphone shipments increase 6.1% QoQ in Q4 2019 and 9.1% YoY for 2019. Combined, these two countries saw shipments of 12.6 million units in 2019.

The decline in Nigeria in H1 2019 was caused by the closure of airports February, which led to a considerable slowdown in imports. The extended campaigns for the 2020 general elections also impacted the market, while the dollar was also unstable during this same period, which had the effect of reducing smartphone shipments to the country.

Together, Transsion brands (i.e., Tecno, itel, and Infinix) held the biggest market share in 2019 as they launched a number of successful models with big screen sizes and mid-range prices, including the Spark 4, Phantom 8, and Camon 12, among others. In addition, Transsion experienced strong demand for its wide range of models in low price bands ($0<$100).

Huawei had a major comeback to the market, benefiting from an increased marketing budget and the launch of new products in the mid-range price bands. Samsung benefited from its A series models, which had a wide market audience due to the affordability and rich features of these devices.

The Nigerian government raised VAT from 5% to 7.5% effective from February 1st, 2020. This new regulation is likely to lead to an increase in smartphone prices, leading to slower smartphone adoption in the market. With VAT averaging 5% in the markets directly neighboring Nigeria, gray market re-exports of smartphones into the country are likely to increase.

Anticipated Impact of COVID-19 Outbreak

As per the most recent Situation Report (#56) from the World Health Organization, there are now 167,511 confirmed cases of the COVID-19 virus worldwide, with 6,606 deaths. In response to the pandemic, IDC has developed three possible scenarios – Optimistic, Probabilistic, and Pessimistic – and currently believes that the Probabilistic scenario is the most likely to occur, with both supply- and demand-side concerns alleviating by the second half of 2020. Under this Probabilistic scenario for Nigeria and Ghana combined, IDC expects smartphone shipments to decline 15.4% in QoQ in Q1 2020 and 3.9% in Q2 2020.

As most consumer devices in West Africa are imported from China, the disruption to supply chains caused by the COVID-19 outbreak will have a particularly severe impact on this sub-region. Most of the major smartphone brands (i.e., Tecno, Itel, Infinix, Xiaomi, Huawei, Oppo, and Vivo) are of Chinese origin and they control over 85% of the regional market. Other brands such as Nokia and Samsung, with their partial production outside China, cannot fill the gap as they also source parts and components from China.

The impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on Nigeria is double sided. While the supply of smartphones will inevitably be restricted on the Chinese side, Nigeria’s oil revenues are also likely to suffer as China is Nigeria’s the largest customer for crude oil and other raw materials.

“While the spread of COVID-19 presents a significant threat to Nigeria, a country with insufficient health infrastructure, the negative impact on oil revenues poses a larger threat in the short to medium term, and this will negatively impact the country’s fragile economic development and the purchasing power of consumers,” says Dr. Ramazan Yavuz, a senior research manager at IDC.

“While the impact of the spread of the virus is expected to lessen and a return to normalcy is awaited in H2 2020, the volatility and uncertainty in oil markets will continue to take a bigger toll on the Nigerian economy, which will subsequently stifle demand for consumer devices, including smartphones.”

IDC expects that the shortage of smartphone supply will drive an increase in gray market imports from other markets. “If the supply chain is not back to normal and distributors run out of stocks, the average selling prices for smartphones are likely to go up because of the shortage in supply,” says George Mbuthia, a research analyst at IDC. “The increase of VAT to 7.5% in Nigeria will push costs further upwards, slowing smartphone penetration in the short term.”


Kindly share this post

Dear Reader, Your support matters. But we believe that technology makes life more exciting and helps improve the lives of people around Nigeria and indeed the world. That is why, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and finance and how they affect lives. Our incisive and analytical view of how technology news affects the daily life help individuals and organizations make up their minds. Quality journalism costs money. Today, we're asking that you support us to do more. Kindly support our effort to deliver technology and finance journalism to everyone in the world. Donate as little as N1,000. Bank transfers can be made to: UBA Plc 1017156876 Communication Week Media Ltd

News

PalmPay Named Among Top 250 Fintech Companies in the World by CNBC and Statista

Published

on

Kindly share this post

Africa-focused fintech platform, PalmPay, has been included in the 2024 edition of CNBC and Statista’s prestigious list of the “Top 250 Fintech Companies in the World.” This recognition underscores PalmPay’s rapid growth and significant contributions to advancing financial inclusion.

The CNBC/Statista list honours fintech pioneers significantly transforming the financial services industry through technology. More than 2000 companies were evaluated globally based on general and sector-specific KPIs to determine the final selection.

In 2024, some of the most influential fintechs in the world were included in the list, including Alipay, Nubank, Monzo, and Revolut. Six other African firms made the list: Flutterwave (Nigeria/US) – Payments; Kuda (Nigeria/UK) – Neobanking; MTN (South Africa) – Payments; Piggyvest (Nigeria) – Financial planning; and Yoco (South Africa) – Payments.

PalmPay has developed an integrated platform that caters to consumers and businesses in the African market. The startup, which has been operating since 2019, pioneered a unique model in Nigeria that provides financial services such as money transfers, bill payment, credit services and savings via a one-stop-shop fintech ‘superapp’ and mobile money agents.

This dual approach of easy-to-use digital banking, combined with offline touchpoints for those without smartphones, has contributed to driving financial inclusion in a market where more than 40% of adults remain unbanked.

In 2023, PalmPay announced a major milestone of reaching 30 million registered users on its smartphone apps and 1.1 million businesses in its network of mobile money agents and retail merchants. A third of PalmPay customers report that the platform was their first-ever financial account.

PalmPay has quickly grown to become a market leader in Nigeria thanks to its user-friendly interface, reliable transactions, and focus on driving market share through fee-free transfers and promotions. PalmPay processes 15 million transactions on its consumer app daily and maintains a 99.5% transaction success rate.

To achieve this scale in a market where 10% transaction failure rates were common, the company built out its payment infrastructure, channel integrations and transaction routing systems. In addition to its consumer wallet, PalmPay offers services to businesses that leverage the PalmPay platform via its suite of POS machines, APIs and checkout solutions.

“It’s an honour for PalmPay to be recognised by CNBC and Statista as one of the World’s Top Fintech Companies,” said Sofia Zab, Global CMO, “This recognition validates our unique approach to financial services and our commitment to driving financial inclusion. We are actively expanding PalmPay’s reach and offerings, ensuring more people have access to essential financial services and promoting economic development in emerging markets”

PalmPay operates in several key markets across Africa, including Nigeria, Ghana and Tanzania, with plans to expand further in the region and other emerging markets. The company has global HQs in China and London.


Kindly share this post
Continue Reading

News

WiDEF Launches Round of Technical Assistance to help Close the Gender Digital Divide

Published

on

Kindly share this post

The Women in the Digital Economy Fund (WiDEF) announced today the launch of its second competitive round, this time inviting applications from large private sector enterprises seeking technical support to scale proven solutions to significantly close the gender digital divide.

Announced by the White House in March 2023, WiDEF is a joint effort between USAID and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to accelerate progress on closing the gender digital divide, managed by CARE, Global Digital Inclusion Partnership and the GSMA Foundation.

This round of support takes the form of tailored technical assistance to scale products, services or approaches that can significantly increase women’s access to and usage of the internet. It follows WiDEF’s     first round of funding and support that closed on May 6th 2024 for local organisations.

The technical assistance on offer aims to help to unlock opportunities to significantly close the gender digital divide, rather than supporting an enterprise’s ongoing “business as usual” activities. Examples of the kind of technical support private sector enterprises might apply for might include:

–  Research into the principal barriers and needs of underserved segments of women to inform actions to better support them to access and use digital technology and the internet

–  Evaluation of existing products and services for women to inform their evolution and wider usage

–   Testing specific approaches and services to ensure they best meet the needs of underserved women

–  Product adaptation and iteration, including the analysis of service usage data, user feedback and further design research

Business modelling and support for scaling products and services

“From our experience, we have seen how the right technical assistance can truly help companies unlock impact at scale.

“Through this new round, we believe we can deepen the private sector’s contribution to the closing of the gender divide across low- and middle-income countries, in line with the GSMA Foundation’s unwavering commitment to addressing this challenge,” said Max Cuvellier Giacomelli, Head of Mobile for Development, GSMA.

WiDEF will provide successful applicants in countries where USAID operates with tailored technical assistance for up to two years valued in the range of $50,000 to $150,000 USD. This support will be provided by the WiDEF Consortium and third-party suppliers engaged by WiDEF.

WiDEF aims to support commercially sustainable, scalable and evidence-based solutions to help close the gender digital divide. Successful applicants will need to articulate how their solution – and the technical assistance they draw on – will address at least two of the following core priority areas for WiDEF:

Improved access to affordable devices and online experiences

Increased availability of relevant products and tools

Elevation of digital literacy and skills

Enhancement of safety and security

Additionally, all applications will need to generate insights and data that expand the collection and use of gender-disaggregated research and analysis.

Full eligibility criteria and the application process can be found here. Applications are due by September 12, 2024.

 


Kindly share this post
Continue Reading

News

Reps to Donate 50% of Salaries to Fight Hunger

Published

on

Kindly share this post

House of Representatives at a plenary session on Thursday pledged to give up 50 per cent of their salaries for six months to address the hunger across the country.

During the session presided over by Speaker Tajudeen Abbas, Deputy Speaker Benjamin Kalu amended the motion, urging his colleagues to sacrifice 50% of their salaries. He made this plea when it was his turn to speak, seeking their support for this gesture.

“This government is doing its best but one year is not enough to address the challenges of this country. I want to plead with our colleagues to sacrifice 50 per cent for a period of six months.

“Our salary is N600,000 a month. I want to plead that we let go of 50 per cent of our salary for a period of six months,” Kalu said.

With each member paying N300,000 into a common purse, the legislative chamber will be contributing N108m monthly to the Federal Government and N648m for six months.


Kindly share this post
Continue Reading

Trending