For the first time ever, Transsion Holdings’ TECNO is Africa’s smartphone king. New research by Counterpoint shows TECNO pipped Samsung to the first place despite the disruption to retail and supply chain caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
Africa’s smartphone shipments dropped a 6.7 percent fall compared to the previous year within the same time but TECNO was able to recover in the second half of the year due to pent-up demand.
“Looking at the entire year, the African smartphone market outperformed other regions but was not immune to disruptions caused by the pandemic, said Yang Wang, a Senior Analyst at Counterpoint. Q2 2020 was especially difficult as demand was hammered when most countries entered lockdowns. Smartphone shipments during the quarter saw a YoY drop of 27%. 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. Q4 2020 actually eked out a 1.5% gain in YoY terms, the best quarter on record.”
Samsung has been focussing on releasing mid-range devices with its A-series which has been successful so far. The Korean company saw its smartphone market share fall in the first half of 2020 due to disruptions in supply chain.
Fellow Transsion-owned company, itel took a big hit in shipment due to the pandemic but also recovered in the second half of the year due to pent-up demand. Itel focuses on providing the most price-friendly devices and the brand is expected to continue to enjoy success in that segment. Infinix, another subsidiary of Transsion Holdings saw big gains in market share in the second half of 2020.
Oppo’s presence continues to grow in Africa with the company making its presence felt in Nigeria. The smartphone brand has enjoyed early success in Egypt and Algeria and saw its shipments grew by 57 percent year on year. Oppo is expected to consolidate its presence in the high mid-price smartphone segment.