Transsion Group’s smartphone, feature phone brands lead market share in Nigeria

Nigeria’s smartphone sales grew 8% sequentially driven by new launches and a growing number of smartphone users, according to the latest research from Counterpoint’s Market Pulse service.

Commenting on the brand performance, Anshika Jain, Research Analyst at Counterpoint Research said: “The Transsion Group has taken a lead in both the feature phone and smartphone segments in Nigeria. The combined share of its brands, Tecno, Itel and Infinix, reached an all-time high in the third quarter of 2018, driven by its affordable offerings, advanced features and strong distribution network. The OEM also launched its affordable Android Go offering during the quarter which started off well, especially the 3G version.”

(TOP: An exhibit of Nigeria’s smartphone market share and the country’s feature phone market share. Source: Counterpoint Research Market Pulse Q3 2018).

Commenting on the overall market Ms Jain said: “We expect the smartphone market to grow 8% sequentially in 4Q 2018 due to the entry of new players, an increasing number of new launches and the availability of device financing options. The major OEMs have also started forming partnerships with leading operators (like Airtel Nigeria, Globacom) to drive smartphone adoption in Nigeria. These operators are rolling out bundled plans and offering discounts and freebies on various smartphone devices.

Looking at the major findings, Tarun Pathak, Associate Director at Counterpoint Research said: “The number of internet users in Nigeria reached 104 million in July 2018. The increasing number of internet subscribers is attributed to the reduced prices of smartphones and rising purchasing power of the citizens, reflecting the end of the recessionary cycle and the relative stability of the Nigerian currency. The growth in internet users along with upcoming investments by tech giants in the digital content space is creating a favourable ecosystem to promote Nigeria’s technology sector. Having said that, we believe that both feature phones and smartphones will stay relevant in the Nigeria market for some time. There are ecosystem players like KaiOS that are further working with OEMs and operators to launch affordable 3G/4G feature phones for ‘bottom-of-the-pyramid users where entry-level smartphone penetration remains modest”.

Market Summary:

  • The smartphone segment contributed to 55% of the total handset market during Q3 2018, up from 51% in Q2 2018.
  • The smartphone segment grew 8% sequentially driven by new launches and a growing number of smartphone users.
  • The top five brands captured a 74% share of the total smartphone market.
  • Samsung remained the brand leader in the smartphone segment with 29% share as the company has launched its refreshed J series (J4 and J6) in Nigeria.
  • Transsion Group (with its brands Tecno, Itel and Infinix) led Nigeria’s smartphone market with 41% share, when all its brands are combined. This represents 17% growth QoQ. The dominance of Chinese players is reflected by their wide and affordable portfolio, along with a focus on design and quality.
  • Tecno’s smartphone sales grew 11% sequentially with the Tecno Spark 2 being the best-selling device for the brand.
  • Itel grew 14% QoQ capturing 11% share driven by its strong distribution network, social media presence and variety of new launches with the main emphasis on improving battery and camera capabilities. Its recently launched devices (A32F, P32 and A15) based on Android Oreo (Go addition) make up one-third of its total smartphone portfolio.
  • Infinix was the fastest growing brand in Nigeria in Q3 2018 because of its value for money offerings and growing demand by young professionals. Its Hot series models Hot 6 and Hot 6 Pro (launched last quarter) accounted for 38% of its total portfolio sales, because of their camera-centric features that appeal to young, social-media-savvy adults. The brand opened its first flagship exclusive store in Nigeria in July 2018.
  • Huawei has been in the top five list for two consecutive quarters with 28% QoQ growth.
  • Doogee also emerged as one of the leading smartphone brands in Nigeria due to the introduction of multiple new devices and advanced features in its budget series. The brand has recently launched five new smartphones in Nigeria.
  • In the feature phone segment, Tecno and itel captured 77% share of the total market in 3Q 2018.
  • Going forward, we estimate there is a sizeable opportunity for feature phone players to gain market share as Nigeria is still an underpenetrated market where OEMs can focus on launching new feature phone devices aimed at price-sensitive customers.


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