Which Chinese phone giant dominates sales in Africa against Apple ?

Transsion Holdings Limited is a parent company to Tecno, Infinix and Itel. Companies that have successfully manufactured mobile phone devices specifically for the African market.

Product features

The combination of variety and availability of affordable feature phones, in addition to a strong market presence and their distribution network, has contributed to their success in Africa. Innovations in their products have meant that they have created a particular niche in the marketplace, with products that ‘meet the needs of diverse income segments of the growing population’. 

Image: Quartz


Nigeria has a population of over 190 million people,  and ‘has grown to be the leading country in the mobile market in Africa. Transsion Holdings dominated feature phone sales in Nigeria during 2018. The company works with research and development centres in Nigeria and Kenya and uses the knowledge produced to create products for their niche market. Essentially through ‘providing affordable and region-specific phones to cities and rural Africa, Transsion has been able to continuously innovate around the needs of its customers and bump its sales.’ Utilising a multi-brand strategy the company launches different brands at different time phases ‘based on the situation of target markets and the various consumers’ needs.’ 




TECNO T201 was Transsion’s first mobile phone which was launched in 2006, followed by the 4Runner in 2008. This four sims mobile phone was the first of its kind for the company and it met the needs of users within the African market. A market where people avoid steep charges in calls by swapping sims around the network they are calling.

Local languages

In addition to multiple sim devices, product features such as local languages also appeal to the African market, languages such as ‘Amharic, Hausa and Swahili were added to keyboards and phones were given a longer battery life.’ Longer battery life is an important feature of Transsions phones, users often live in communities that have unreliable access to electricity and may even have to travel ‘30kms’  to charge their phones. Tecno launched 6 new devices in 2018 alone. This particular Chinese phone producer, employees hundreds of employees in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa.’  Producing affordable phones, designed to appeal to local markets.

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