Apr 20, 2021

Tecno replaces Samsung as Africa’s top smartphone brand

Harry Menear
2 min
New data from Counterpoint Research found that Tecno managed to capture 18% of Africa’s smartphone market, while Samsung’s share fell to 15%
New data from Counterpoint Research found that Tecno managed to capture 18% of Africa’s smartphone market, while Samsung’s share fell to 15...

Africa’s smartphone crown has changed hands. New data released on Monday by Counterpoint Research found that South Korean electronics giant, Samsung, has fallen to second place in the competition to capture the African smartphone market. 

Samsung’s share of the African smartphone sector put it comfortably in the lead with an 18% market share in 2019. During the pandemic, however, the Korean brand was hit hard, which resulted in its share dropping to 15% of total sales last year. 


Courtesy of Counterpoint Research Market Monitor

At the same time, smartphone manufacturer Tecno’s - which is owned by the Chinese firm Transsion Holdings - share of the African market has grown by 1% to reach Samsung’s previous share of 18%, putting it in first place in terms of mobile handset sales across the continent. 

Transsion achieved this win during a year when the African smartphone industry experienced a 6.7% drop in sales year-on-year, thanks largely to its expanded range of budget handsets. 

Tecno’s low-cost devices have proven well-suited to a market where premium handset penetration is far lower than in Europe or APAC - as evidenced by the fact that Apple’s total sales accounted for a mere 1% of total smartphone shipments in Africa last year. Throughout H2 of 2020, premium devices (with a price tag of $500 or more) never accounted for more than 3% of total smartphone sales in the region. 

“Looking at the entire year, the African smartphone market outperformed other regions but was not immune to disruptions caused by the pandemic. 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%,” commented Counterpoint Senior Analyst, Yang Wang. 

He added that, as “Restrictions started easing in July” demand quickly 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 still enjoys “impeccable brand image and strength in formal channels” throughout Africa, notes Counterpoint’s report, which adds that the company’s mid-range A Series will be a key factor in the company’s success going forward. Tecno's high marketing spend last year, twinned with its expanded range of budget phones, served it well, and Counterpoint Research notes that Tecno "is poised for further market share gains in 2021."

Share article

Apr 30, 2021

Event Spotlight: Why 5G Matters

Bizclik Editor
2 min
Meet the industry experts taking part in Mobile Magazine’s Why 5G Matters Webinar on May 7
Meet the industry experts taking part in Mobile Magazine’s Why 5G Matters Webinar on May 7...

As the global 5G rollout continues to take effect, the mobile telecommunications industry is looking for business models and monetisation strategies to make up for the huge investment required for the technology.

Many are looking to move beyond connectivity to develop new services that capitalise on 5G speeds, architectures, and data transfer capabilities.

In an upcoming, very special webinar, Mobile Magazine’s Scott Birch will join industry experts from SAP, DigitalRoute, Verizon, and Deloitte examine the incredible opportunity that 5G brings for network providers, their customers, and end-users. 

Frank Wilde


Vice President, Global Center of Excellence at SAP

A seasoned executive and management consultant with a track record of success in software development and business model innovation, Frank Wilde is currently leading SAP’s data science innovation with a team of data scientists and platform architects to drive revenue growth and customer-driven innovation with strategic customers.

Demed L’Her


CTO at DigitalRoute 

Mr L’Her is a software executive with a proven track record in enterprise software strategy, a solid academic background and a strong dose of pragmatism. He currently lives and works in Sweden, following over 16 years in Silicon Valley, as well as time spent in France, the UK and Japan. 

He has held almost all possible technical roles within a software company (product management, development, alliances, pre-sales, etc.), in a great variety of countries and environments, from pre-IPO Silicon Valley software companies to mega-vendors such as Oracle or SAP.

Arleen Cauchi


Director Partner Business Development & Innovation, Verizon

Results-oriented leader with over 30 years experience in sales and marketing. An innovator, a strategic thinker and an influencer who has consistently been a pioneer throughout her career with the ability to assess complex opportunities, develop strategies, and mobilise teams to execute. Combining technology, sales and marketing know-how to consistently exceed customer and business expectations.

Jerry Hoberman


Principal, Technology Modernisation leader, Consumer Industries at Deloitte Consulting LLP

U.S. Consumer-Retail Technology Practice Leader. Americas SAP Practice Leader. Experienced Principal with a demonstrated history of successful outcomes in Consumer, Retail and Wholesale industries through technology modernisation. Skilled in IT Strategy, Technology Implementation, Business Case, Business Process Design, and Organisational Change Management. Deep global domain knowledge in Finance and Supply Chain. Solution-focused implementation of analytics and operational solutions that use clean ERP, cloud architectures, smart data design and integration platforms. Hoberman has an MBA focused in Finance from New York University.

Share article