smartphone market

China’s Transsion dominates smartphone market in Africa

By Eric Olander

Posted on March 19, 2021 16:54

KENYA-NAIROBI-CHINESE MOBILE PHONE © Photo taken on 9 May 2017 shows an outdoor advertisement of Tecno Mobile in downtown Nairobi, capital of Kenya (Xinhua/Sun Ruibo)
Photo taken on 9 May 2017 shows an outdoor advertisement of Tecno Mobile in downtown Nairobi, capital of Kenya (Xinhua/Sun Ruibo)

Transsion’s dominance of the African mobile phone market remains fully intact despite last year’s major economic disruption brought on by the pandemic, according to new data released by the research firm IDC.

Transsion’s suite of brands (Tecno, Infinix, and Itel) has a commanding 48.2% share of the African smartphone market, three times that of its closest competitor Samsung (16%).

And even as consumers cut back on spending elsewhere, the average selling price of smartphones went up by 5.6% in the October to December period last year.

While African mobile phone sales increased by 4.6% in Q4 compared to the previous quarter, the market overall had a difficult year in 2020 with sales down 10%.

Phones aren’t the only thing Transsion does in Africa

  • Apps & Services: Transsion has investment and operational stakes in many of Africa’s most successful apps and services like the market-leading Boomplay (music streaming), Vskit (social video) and PalmPay (mobile money) among many others. Transsion has created a walled garden with its platform where, like Google and Apple, it gives preferential treatment to its own apps over those of competitors.
  • Venture Capital: Transsion has an African-focused venture capital arm called Future Hub that invests in early-stage tech companies across the continent. The firm is run independently by its two co-founders, Vincent Li and Ken Wu, and typically invests around $100,000 for 5% ownership or less. These investments give the company early access to the new technology, trends and, most importantly, innovators.

This article is published as part of our partnership with The China Africa Project – read the original here.

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