By January 2017, mobile phone subscription in Egypt recorded 110 percent, with 98.2 million users. Earlier this month, the country announced the launch of its first Egyptian-made smartphone SICO, that targets the local market.
According to Mohamed Salem, President of SICO Technology – the Egyptian company that built the country’s first smartphone, “We have been working on this project for almost four years … we hope to sell 1.5 million in 2018.”
— Egypt Built (@HosamDakhakhni) December 4, 2017
The smartphone was made with a $22.5 million investment in the company’s factory in Assiut, Cairo. With five production lines spread over 4.520 square meters, the factory has the capacity of producing 1.8 million smartphones yearly. Thus, the company’s ambition to distribute 1.5 million devices in 2018 seems feasible.
SICO mobile phones are now the first local brand in the industry. 45% of the components used in the production of these devices is locally made. The rest of the components were imported from China.
The company also intends to deploy its solution on the African market and elsewhere. Note also that SICO announces the release of other models of Smartphones within the next six months.
The country’s local market in 2016 accounted for nearly 100 million subscribers according to Egypt’s National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority. Meanwhile, SICO Technology plans to acquire 5% of Egypt’s mobile phone market share in its first year of selling.
Egypt’s smartphone market
According to a 2015 report, Egypt’s smartphone sales reached 4.6 billion in 2014. This positioned the country as having one of the highest smartphone sales in developing markets. Ranked eighth that year, Egypt was anticipated to reach $5 billion by the end of 2015, achieving a 0.3% growth rate in terms of sales value compared to 2014.
While the global phone market is expected to drop, countries such as Egypt, India and China will continue to grow, dominating tech device sales growth. According to the report, emerging markets will increase by $10 billion, led by India which was expected to grow by $5 billion in 2015.
Egypt’s deployment of their first ‘made-in-Egypt’ smartphone seems to act as a bolster for countries in Africa and other emerging markets to take up the challenge and produce smartphones specifically targeted towards their local markets.