Why Tecno, Infinix & Itel is dominating the smartphone market in Africa

In 2019, the International Data Center (IDC) ranked the African Smartphone market share as follow: Transsion Holdings: 34.9%; Samsung: 21.7%; Huawei: 10.2%, according to a report posted on its website.

Transsion Holdings is a Chinese mobile phone manufacturer based in Hong Kong, its brands, include Tecno, Infinix and Itel. The company’s global sales, almost entirely from the African market, hit 130 million in 2017. Here is why Tecno , Infinix & Itel – three brands from Transsion have recorded more sales success than its competitors in Africa:

Why Tecno, Infinix & Itel is dominating the smartphone market in Africa
photo credits: Tech-ish


Africa is a continent with one of the world’s lowest GDP; pricey mobile phones like Samsung and Apple’s iPhone are still beyond the reach of many household. While these phone makers focused on luxurious models for their target audience, Transsion’s Tecno, Infinix and Itel have made it their mission to provide cheap phones in Africa. And this phenomenon started with these makers imitating the models of the more popular phones. They developed simple, cheap imitations that attracted huge loyalty and because of this gap first filled in China, they decided to spread their wings to Africa where attaining such popular but expensive phones is beyond the reach of many.


Apart from affordability, the brand gained a further solid foothold in the continent with its localized functions such as face recognition adapted specifically for dark-skinned people and African indigenous language support for its basic phones.

In 2006, Zhu launched Tecno in Nigeria, targeting Africa’s most populous nation first. From the start, the company’s motto was “think global, act local,” which meant making phones that met Africans’ specific needs. Local languages such as Amharic, Hausa and Swahili were added to keyboards.

More innovations followed. Transsion opened research and development centers in China, Nigeria and Kenya to work out how to better appeal to African users and phones were given a longer battery life. Extra power was important. In Nigeria, South Africa and Ethiopia, for example, the government frequently shuts off electricity to conserve power, leaving people unable to charge their phones for hours.

Business sense

Other companies too are making their intentions felt as far as grabbing the phone market in Africa is concerned. Huawei, Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo have made significant inroads in the African market. Alcatel-Lucent is another brand that is common in Africa. It is a split-off venture of Nokia. Transsion trio- Tecno, Infinix and Itel have double their marketing strategy to maintain their market lead. In cities like Lagos, Nairobi and Addis Ababa, busy streets are awash with the bright blue shopfronts of Transsion’s flagship brand, Tecno. Many retailers are provided with free branded signpost board. Tecno Mobile’s most recent phones are the Spark 5 and Spark 5 Air.

With Transsion’s deal with Carlcare service, Tecno, Infinix and Itel have the most accessible after-sale service, repair and warranty of all phone brands in Africa. Carlcare has many offices in almost all African countries that offer repair and warranty services to these brands.

Transsion’s rise reflects the wider Chinese growing business investment in Africa, taking over from decade-old former dominants, Samsung and Nokia. To sell phones in Africa, the cost and how it meet the people’s need are some factors to consider.

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