Last updated on June 25th, 2019 at 11:40 am
Earlier this year, specifically in the month of January, Xiaomi announced creation of an African Regional Department to take on market king and Transsion Holdings. What this simply means is that Xiaomi Plans to Rival Transsion Holdings Owned Brands which would in turn aid their expansion into the African smartphone market.
The African smartphone market is controlled largely by Transsion holding’s Trio – Tecno, Infinix and Itel smartphone brands. Unlike what we see in Northern American and the rest of Europe where Apple and Samsung dominate the smartphone market, these two brands aren’t that strong in the African Market – Nigeria to be precise. According to CIRP’s Josh Lowitz, “iPhone XR continues to dominate US iPhone sales”. Apple gained market share in the Q2 of 2018 as iOS continues to dominate the US smartphone sales and Samsung arguably plays second fiddle when it comes to units being shipped and number of brand users in North America and Europe.
According to a market research analysis for the first quarter of 2018 in the African smartphone market, Samsung held the largest market share but Transsion’s Tecno and Itel brands had the second and third largest market share while its Infinix brand came in at 5th place just behind Huawei. Collectively, that makes Transsion Holdings the leader of the smartphone market.
It wouldn’t be surprising to know that Xiaomi want a part of that market share, when you look at the units of Infinix and Tecno phones being shipped into the African smartphone market as well as the ever increasing number of brand users, you just see reason why Xiaomi would want to try penetrating the African market – Nigeria. The Xiaomi brand has been on an expansion streak in the last year and a half. It has opened up shops in new countries like India, Russia, and Spain etc. and now it wants to come to Africa.
Here’s something you might not have known but this isn’t actually the first time Xiaomi has tried to penetrate the African – Nigeria smartphone market. Two years ago, Xiaomi launched a few phones in Nigeria but was barred by a court injunction from selling any more phones and products. The injunction which was obtained by a South African phone company called Mi-Fone prevented Xiaomi from selling any phone or product with the trade name “Mi”. Xiaomi later obtained a pass that allowed it to sell its products in Nigeria.
However, only a few Xiaomi phones have been sold since then and actually by retail partners. Last year, the Redmi Note 5A and Redmi Note 5A Prime were sold by e-Commerce store, Jumia. I actually ordered the Redmi Note 5A Prime on Jumia last year and it happened to be the second Xiaomi phone I would use after I had ordered the Redmi Note 4X from Ali Express.
The Redmi 6A, Redmi Go and some other phones are also currently available on the retail site. Apart from these devices, there hasn’t really been an official presence in Nigeria. There is also no after-sales service. Nevertheless, for Xiaomi fans like me, we know Xiaomi products are getting quite popular as the years go by, so we go through the little stress of importing from china via Ali Express.
According to the official memo, Xiaomi’s African Regional Department will be headed by Wang Lingming and he will report to Wang Xiang. Fast-forward to May, 2019, Xiaomi establishing an African Regional Department, has made things much more different.
You can see that there has been a Xiaomi official launch in Nigeria and we’re hoping there should be official after-sales support soon enough.
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