Smartphone deliveries to Africa and the Middle East (AME) saw an 83 percent surge last year, thanks to cheaper models and dual-Sim devices, latest research shows.

According to International Data Corp’s (IDC) fourth quarter Handsets Tracker, smartphone consignments to Africa and Middle East shot up to almost 45 percent last year from 27 percent in the preceding year.

Last year, the market share for smartphones priced under $100 soared to 20 percent from 5 percent in 2013 in Africa and the Middle East. In addition, market share of smartphones in the $100 to $200 price range surged from 25 percent in the third quarter last year to 33 percent in the fourth quarter, the research showed this week.

The shipment of dual-Sim smartphones increased 34 percent year-on-year in the fourth quarter of last year.

Meanwhile, Samsung remained the preferred handset in Africa and the Middles East while Huawei and Apple followed in second and third places respectively.

Like in other markets around the globe, the Africa and Middle East markets saw a 58 percent upsurge in the shipment of iOS devices in the fourth quarter of last year compared to the third quarter. Android shipments increased by only 3.8 percent over the same period under the period under review while BlackBerry OS continued its downward spiral trend after a brief increase in the third quarter of last year, according to IDC research.

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