Apple declines as Tecno, iTel and Infinix Rules Africa and Middle East

Ten years ago, who would have believed that Tecno would have grown so popular and powerful enough to steal a big slice of the African smartphone market ? Tecno is currently the 7TH most admired brand in Africa. The company has succeeded in pulling the rug from under the feet of giants like Nokia and Apple as far as Africa is concerned. Tecno, Infinix and iTel are Chinese brands under the same parent company Transsion Holdings but they’ve never sold a single phone in China. They have no shop in China. But thousands of miles away in Africa, they commands a strong and loyal base of followers that would make Apple green with envy.

Tecno: We are African and for Africans

Headquartered in Shenzhen, China, Transsion is one of China’s biggest smartphone makers but makes their mark in cities Lagos, Nairobi and Addis Ababa. The company built its business in Africa. And it has no plans to come home. The company has been very successful in Africa and has seen it’s smartphones dominate the African market.

According to the chart above, Samsung dominates Africa and middle East with 25% market share, Huawei comes second with 11%, Tecno comes 3rd with 9% while iTel comes 4th with 7%. Apple trail behind with a small 5% market share. That’s for Africa and middle East combined. In Africa alone, Tecno is the smartphone king ruling the market with an iron fist.


The masterstroke that Tecno used in winning over the heart of Africans is the affordable price, a longer battery life, dual sim and innovation. Transsion Holding launched Tecno in Nigeria in 2006. From the beginning all Tecno phones are dual sim hence solving the problem of swapping sim cards all the time. Ever since, it has grown to become very successful. They were quick to observe our electricity problems and they gave us bigger batteries than other smartphone makers. Both iTel and Tecno have 5000mAh battery capacity phones.

About 95% of Transsion smartphones cost under $200, making them the king of budget smartphones in Africa.


Transsion Holdings says it has a total of 10,000 local employees in Africa, and 6,000 in China. Its low-cost African workforce helps it keep it’s prices down and pocket friendly. In 2015, the company launched a music app called Boomplay that will compete with iTunes and Spotify. This move is to attract music lovers to the phone and the app currently has over 32 million users. Away from Africa, the company in 2017, launched Tecno in India and within a year had claimed 5% of the huge market share. The company hopes to expand to Bangladesh and other Asian countries in future.


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