It is no news that despite the economic contraction in recent times, the taste of an average Nigerian for smartphones has been on the increase. This trend has made several mobile phone manufacturers, especially from China target the Nigerian mobile phone market. This is evident in the influx of different brand in the Nigerian market space today.
The race to acquire the latest smartphone among Nigerians cut across all ages the reason for this trend has been attributed to several factors – this includes luxury, taste, ease of usage, price; for the tech-savvy, speed, storage space, camera capability, speaker, processor type, etc.
This week on Product review we take a look at the Nigerian Phone market and how different brands are playing out for market share and profitability.
The race for the latest smartphone by Nigerians
A visit to the popular, ever busy and bustling Computer Village in Ikeja shows that many Nigerians are lovers of smartphones. Nairametrics visited an outlet of the popular Slots within Computer Village. We saw several brands on display, with more customers at the stand display for Tecno smartphones.
In our survey, we wanted to know among the several brands which brand is the king of mobile phones, why and factors surrounding customer’s preference. Our team was exposed to players in the market ranging from Tecno, Infinix, Gionee, Nokia, Itel, ZTE, Innjoo, HTC, Wiko, Motorola, Solo on the conservative strata; and iPhone and Samsung on the luxury end.
All of these have a mark in the Nigeria phone arena, however, individual brand preference is influenced majorly by the consumers ‘pocket size’.
Further investigation confirmed that Tecno, Infinix, and Itel are subsidiaries of a Chinese holding company, Transsion Holdings was founded by George Zhu Zhaojiang, a Chinese businessman, and his business partners in July 2006. This was initially suggestive of the fact that they are all serviced by the same service centre, Carlcare.
A battle of prices and Taste
A chat with a lady who simply identified as Happiness described the sales of Infinix, Tecno, Itel as “pure water”. This suggests the three have the largest market share in the space. The price of these smartphones ranges from as little as N25,000 to as exorbitant as N450,000.
On enquiry about iPhone and Samsung smartphones, dealers couldn’t objectively pin a reason for customer’s preference over their conservative counterpart. However, it can be said majorly, that a customer will walk out with either a Samsung or iPhone based on his/her purchasing power. The least product on Samsung rack goes for N37,500 which is the Samsung Grand Prime Pro, on the other hand, the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 pegs at N318,900.
A quick walk to the iPhone stand reveals variant products with the company’s flagship, iPhone X which is worth N369,000 in the open market.
Why a sizeable number of end users settle for the duo is because of the quality attributed to the productivity achieved by either Samsung or iPhone. This is in terms of durability, finesse and glossy interface.
Information obtained from a store shows an average of 48 persons walks out with a Tecno product in hand per day. The reason hinges on affordability, followed by optimal functionality (camera quality, battery span, and operating system).
Tecno, Infinix, Gionee, Nokia, HTC, Motorola, and Innjoo are all major players in the mobile market; all striving to gain relevance. There are also concerns among Nigerians that the resultant effect is that the Nigerian market becomes a dumping ground for all brands of phone. Major regulatory agencies such as the Consumer protection council (CPC), Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON) must ensure that substandard brands do not find their way into the Nigerian market.
What consumers are saying
A poll conducted by Nairametrics on Twitter and Facebook revealed android as the preferred choice of most mobile phone users. A Twitter user, Offor Ora said he prefers android smartphones for their ability to share files easily, Google integration, the option of choosing from a wide variety, affordability, being customisable, and the back button and multi-window functionality. The other users who also commented via Twitter further confirm that android’s file sharing functionality over the iPhone.
Also, on Facebook, users’ opinion were the same. A Facebook user, Umar Inuwa said iPhone is unique, owning to his experience with the device.
Our poll conducted also revealed that of the total voters, android was most favoured with 57 percent, while iPhone claimed the remaining 43% of votes.
iPhone is unique
Android is everywhere
— Nairametrics (@Nairametrics) August 27, 2018
Going by the poll, Android is the winner of this week’s product review. This can be attributed to its affordability and file sharing capability. On the flip side manufacturers of Android smartphones should consider making devices that durable for consumers to get value for their money.
**Additional research was done by Ibukun Samuel and John Nwokolo