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SSA's mobile device market readies to rocket

SSA's mobile device market readies to rocket

Sub-Saharan Africa's mobile device market remains very strong despite an expected slump as far as desktops and laptops are concerned, according to experts at Gartner.

The IT industry research firm says spending on devices (PCs, tablets, ultra-mobiles and mobile phones) in South Africa is forecast to decline by 4.6% in 2017 to R36.7 million.

Frost & Sullivan pointed out that the "the current unfavourable economic outlook (in South Africa) will continue to pressurise ICT budgets" and spending.

John Lovelock, senior IT analyst at Gartner told ITWeb Africa that for Sub-Saharan Africa, mobile devices are expected to sell more – despite liquidity challenges and currency fluctuations in countries such as Nigeria, Kenya, Zambia, Malawi and Zimbabwe, among others.

"The consumer market for mobile phones is very strong and continues to drive the region's IT spending," said Lovelock.

The region's mobile devices market is expected to grow to US$15.2 million and mobile network operators have continue to upgrade their networks to effectively meet the growing demand for data in anticipation of the growth in the mobile devices category.

"The new ultra-premium mobile devices, such as the Microsoft surface, is attracting significant new sales (84% growth in 2017) , although this seems to be at the expense of the desktop and laptop as the PC market declines again in 2017 by 3.5%." said Gartner.

According to a GSMA report, The Mobile Economy; Sub Saharan Africa 2017, mobile devices in the region are expected to grow to 535 million by 2020, representing about 50% of the population.

In 2016, there were around 420-million mobile device holders in Sub-Saharan Africa, accounting for about 43% of the region's population.

"Around 270-million people in the region now access the internet through mobile devices, while the number of registered mobile money accounts has reached 280-million," says the report.

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