According to Euromonitor International’s August report, Transsion Holdings with its TECNO and itel brands dominate the feature phone sales in Nigeria. mobile phone penetration in Africa’s most populous nation has increased significantly in recent times because of the youthful population in the country.

With the population increase, Nigeria has grown to be leading country in the mobile market in Africa with international manufacturers betting in on the country. This was affirmed in a report by the e-commerce giant, which indicated that Nigeria remains Africa’s largest mobile market, with about 162 million subscribers and a penetration rate of 84 per cent.

In 2018 alone, more than 12 million units of features phones were sold across the country, recording 5% retail volume growth. While the social media usage among the youths and increased disposable income have been identified as the catalysts for the growth of smartphones in 2018. According to the Euromonitor, smartphones grew by 10% in retail volume terms in 2018 to reach six million units.

The proliferation of smartphone in Nigeria as seen in the country was birth by the infiltration of some international phone manufacturers into the Nigerian market through their production of high-end phones at a cheaper rate for consumers. These phones mostly from Chinese manufacturers have dominated the market since the introduction of dual-sim android phones

Leading the market is Tecno, Infinix and itel brands. While Tecno smartphones have turned to favourites among consumers who represent a larger percentage of Nigeria’s population, Itel brands have overtaken other brands in the feature phones sphere as consumers opt for a portable multi-sim phone at a cheaper price. Moreso, the availability and affordability for the average Nigerian consumers who are low/ middle-income earners has given these brands edge in a highly competitive mobile market. According to the Euromonitor report, Tecno Mobile comes first with itel following closely behind, more expensive brands still represent a meagre figure in the mobile market in Nigeria.

No doubt, the mobile phone market is largely dominated by international companies with little or no input from local manufacturers. However, cheap price, smartness, compactness and improved software coupled with it multi-sim feature made the Chinese manufacturers a domineering figure in the mobile market of Africa’s most populous nation.

It was a stiff competition between phone manufacturing giant, Samsung and its rival, Transsion in Nigeria in 2017 with both enjoying a large share of the market. Last year, Samsung’s market share of smartphone shipments in Nigeria slumped to 34%. While, Transsion Holdings shares was 32%, a rise from 25% in 2016 but it seems the battle is lost with Transsion overtaking its fierce rival in the market.

Transsion which also took over the Africa market in 2017 is now the poster figure in the Nigerian phone market becoming a leading figure in mobile phone ecosystem with its brands like Tecno, Itel and Infinix. Its success is unprecedented across the country as it currently holds 75 percent of the market share while other manufacturers left to battle with the remaining 15 percent.

To address the technical challenges faced by its teeming customers, the Shanghai-based manufactures also launched an after-sale service centres Carlcare across the countries with its smart accessories brand Oraimo also on sales on stores. The positive growth might see Transsion capture almost 45% handset market share in Africa by the end of 2018.

Transsion’s closest competitor in the continent, Samsung also saw a slight increase in the Nigeria market as a stand-alone manufacturer, but it was just as drop in the ocean as a large chunk of the share belongs to Transsion. Despite the decline in feature phone sales last year due to the new generation of smartphone users, the current market share clearly reflects the trend in Nigeria mobile market.


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