These days it seems everywhere you go you will come across someone holding an Itel phone. Techno, while big in other African countries is not nearly as ubiquitous as Itel in Zimbabwe but both brands are now bigger than Samsung which used to be the market leader of smartphones in most African countries including Zimbabwe. If the trend continues Itel will become as big as Nokia was during the pre-smartphone everywhere. Everyone had a Nokia phone.

So how big are Itel and Techno as brands? Well, even though they are relatively unknown in the U.S and other Western markets, these two Chinese brands are pretty big in Africa as I already suspected. Data released by a market research company called Counterpoint shows that Techno has already succeeded Samsung as the biggest phone brand in Africa in terms of shipped phones.

Phone Brand% Market share 2019% Market share 2020
Tecno17%18%
Samsung18%15%
Itel11%12%
Huawei10%8%
Infinix6%7%
Xiaomi2%4%
Oppo2%1%
Apple1%1%
HMD Nokia1%1%
RealMe0%1%
Others31%29%
Total100%100%
Data by Counterpoint

Despite being mocked it seems Itel and Techno are actually doing well in the smartphone arena and given how strong their sales are among the youth and mid-class it’s only a matter of time before they leave Samsung smarting in the dust. Although it’s phones are highly coveted and regarded by the same people who buy Itels and Technos the asking price for the phones in the A and J series are just beyond the reach of many.

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