Market research expert, GfK, has said about 1.6 million devices were sold between Q1 to Q3 2017, compared to 972,000 devices in the same period last year.
GfK identified Nigerian consumers as drivers of upward demand for 4G Smartphones, as sales performance in chain retail sales developments for 4G Smartphones in Nigeria recorded significant growth in the category.
With over 90 million internet users the savvy Nigerian consumer demands faster bandwidth and data transfer speeds, the kind that only 4G devices can provide.
GfK, which has since 2009 been involved in tracking the retail sales developments for mobile phones in Nigeria, noted that the advent of the recession in 2016, culminating in a weaker local currency impacted the market. It said this led to a decline in units sold, however with a marginal increase of three per cent in sales value.
It is expected with the end of the recession, and improved value of the Naira that the negative sales growth trends will be reversed.
The Managing Director, GfK Nigeria, Kenneth Doghudje, said: “the Nigerian consumer demonstrates his connectedness to the world, and everything around him/her via the smartphone. This device has come to typify a better quality of life and standard of living. Today’s consumer wants to engage and remain engaged. Running out of data to browse the Internet is simply not an option. And today’s network operators are data driven and focused as a result.”
Doghudje stressed that smartphone devices with screens 5 inches or larger, resonates very well with the Nigerian consumer. A year-on-year comparison of 5-inch screen sales indicates that the market grew from 1.16 million units sold in 2016 to 1.58million units sold in 2017, a growth of 37 per cent. This is proof that consumers desire enough screen “real estate” to enable them to maximise the use of their devices.
Business Group Manager Telecoms & IT, GfK Nigeria, Henry Egbejimba, explained, “Large screen sized phones are preferred by the Nigerian consumers; in fact, the larger the size of the screen, the better.
This is because Nigerians associate large screen sizes with premium quality. And everyone desires to have one or even two high quality smartphones in hand because smartphones are a status symbol.”
Today, many brands are able to play in the 5 inches segment, and churn out models within affordable price points that meet the yearnings and aspirations of the customers.
However, Egbejimba, comparing the 2016 and 2017 sales performances, said the market recorded tremendous growth in the chain stores sales. This channel recorded a 22 per cent increase in sales with a 47 per cent substantial increase in value when comparing the first three quarters in both years. Although the total market experienced a decline, the chain store segment didn’t and actually had a positive trend.”
More and more consumers are beginning to embrace chain stores as the best place to procure quality devices with sufficient warranty and after sales service.
They’re reputed as the best places because they provide an enabling environment to properly engage with the products and check out their characteristics and features, which is vital before you buy.