China’s mobile phone manufacturer, Transsion, the maker of the popular TECNO, Infinix and itel devices has maintained its position as the Kenyan market leader in the first quarter of 2019 with a 40 percent share, this is according to the latest research from Counterpoint Research Service.
TECNO’s increased popularity was attributed to its affordable offerings, faster refresh rate and focus on local needs while itel and Infinix popularity was attributed to low-cost offerings used to grab consumer attention.
Transsion Group had 7 phones out of the 10 best-selling models while the top five brands captured 66% share of the total smartphone market.
According to Counterpoint’s Associate Director, Tarun Pathak, Brands which have good marketing presence, deep distribution network, and launching handsets addressing local needs like affordability emerge out as winners in the hyper-competitive African market.
“In Kenya, consumers make purchase decisions based on pricing rather than features like longer battery life, connection to social media, and online browsing. Though the availability of low-cost smartphones is increasing in the region, affordability still remains a key issue for wide-scale smartphone adoption,” Anshika Jain, Research Analyst added.
Nonetheless, the report adds that other Chinese players like Huawei, Xiaomi and OPPO are rising rapidly and are likely to strike competition in the sector.
Samsung, which has always been a renowned brand declined its market share with its J series facing tough competition from Chinese players who are said to provide better specifications with lower prices.
M-Pesa and Jumia, the e-commerce platform were cited as one of the platforms that steered mobile phone adoption, Jumia reported 10 times growth in its sales of smartphones in 2018 as compared to 2014.