Most people in Kenya and Africa have never heard of Transsion Holdings but I am sure over 80% of those reading this have heard of some of its smartphones that include Infinix, Tecno and iTel. Transsion Holdings is a Chinese company that was founded in 2006 and has some of the well known smartphones in Africa.
In 2016, Transsion produced over 79 Million smartphones. This is 80 times the volume the company produced 10 years ago. Most of these smartphones were sold in Africa where the company’s brands have seen a rise in market share. Keep in mind that 79 million represents the number of devices produced (and possibly shipped to retailers), it does not necessarily represent the total number of devices sold in that year.
“A decade ago, the sales were less than one million, mainly in India and Bangladesh. Transsion became successful only when it put almost all of its attention on the African market,” said Arif Chowdhury, vice president of Transsion Holdings.
Chowdhury also revealed that the company has over 100 million users in Africa and its factories can produce 300,000 phones every single day. For a smartphone brand that has been focusing on Africa only, this is not so bad.
“For a company to succeed, we need to find out what exactly people want. African users like selfies, multiple phone card slots, enabling local language, stable music function and longer battery life,” said Chowdhury. If you know anything about devices produced by Transsion, then you know that they tend to be affordable with bigger batteries (that is important for most consumers) and recently they have started focusing on cameras. Most of them are not meant for power users or those individuals who want powerful devices on their hands so you rarely see powerful processors or flagship features on most of its devices.
Even with that said, Transsion has figured out what the African consumer wants and they have been providing that.
Expansion to the Middle East
Just recently, we have seen Transsion expand its presence to the Middle East. The company even launched the Tecno Phantom 6 and 6 Plus smartphones in Dubai in late 2016. These are the latest flagship smartphones from Tecno that are currently available in the Middle East. We do not have sales figures from the company so we don’t know how the brand is performing in the Middle East.