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Chinese phone maker Tecno overtook Samsung as Africa’s most popular smartphone brand in 2020.
This was the finding of a report published by industry analysis firm Counterpoint on 19 April.
The report said Tecno’s recipe for success was offering new phones in the affordable segment and continued ad spending. Meanwhile, phone sales in Africa performed well despite the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns.
“Looking at the entire year, the African smartphone market outperformed other regions but was not immune to disruptions caused by the pandemic,” said Counterpoint Senior Analyst Yang Wang.
“Restrictions started easing in July. Demand followed suit, riding on a surge in promotional activities, even as COVID-19 cases ticked upwards heading into the Christmas shopping season.”
Along with Tecno, what are the top smartphone brands in Africa?
According to Counterpoint’s data, Tecno accounted for 18% of all smartphone sales in Africa in 2020. This is up from 17% in 2019. The brand is expected to grow even more throughout 2021.
Meanwhile, Samsung’s market share dropped from 18% in 2019 to 15% in 2020. Going forward, Samsung’s A Series of mid-tier smartphones will be important in how well the brand does.
In third place was Itel, whose market share increased from 11% to 12%. Counterpoint said the brand was positioned as the most price-friendly brand in terms of value proposition in Africa.
Huawei managed to stay in fourth place year-on-year, even though the brand’s market share dropped from 10% to 8%. The brand is expected to lose further ground on the continent in 2021.
Other brands such as Infinix, Xiaomi, and OPPO all made significant gains in market share in 2021. Established brands such as Apple and HMD’s Nokia each maintained a 1% market share in 2020.
2020 also saw the first sales of 5G-enabled devices on the continent. This, even though 5G networks are still in their infancy and won’t be a major factor in many countries for a couple of years.
However, Counterpoint expected 5G smartphones to drop below $200 (R2 846) soon.
Feature image: Unsplash/Daniel Romero