Is TECNO a threat to Samsung in Africa

Today Robert Alai tweeted;

Brands like TECNO are disrupting the market with powerful but affordable handsets for consumers in Africa. #EricssonBroadband

To this  oluSunYAh ?@oluSunYAh1h replied;

@RobertAlai and that’s why Tecno brand will dominate African mobile space fully, as it’s putting smartphones in every African’s pocket

We can get hints on whether TECNO will take on big names in the mobile phone industry by looking at its past performance and business strategy in Africa. Mobilethink Analytic population report showed that TECNO was already controlling 15% of Central Africa mobile phone market by 2012. In an interview by Dinfin Mulupi of in January this year , TECNO’s vice president Arif Chowdhury said that TECNO was “already present in 12 countries in East, West and Central Africa and controlling an average of 20% market share in each of the countries.”
TECNO currently does business only in Africa and therefore can be considered as an African company. They have done research in consumer preferences and are coming up with low entry smartphones that the big manufacturers cannot compete with price wise. Their marketing strategy is also to get the phones to some of the remotest places that the big names are not penetrating. TECNO also has a manufacturing facility in Ethiopia that recently released the first TECNO made in Ethiopia brand. Plans are also underway to establish a manufacturing plant in Kenya and another in Nigeria in two years.
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Another strategy by TECNO is to introduce comparative but compitive devices that come from phone makers like Samsung. For example  Oloruntobi Adebayo of compared Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 vs Tecno Phantom Pad N9 and declared Tecno Phantom Pad N9 as the winner both feature and price wise.  of posted in his blog post that TECNO is formidable competitor and is capable of taking Samsung head-on.
The only set back TECNO has is that most smartphone users are people with the young people who are class conscious and would like to be associated with gadgets considered cool, but TECNO is considered inferior which makes its users appear cheap. TECNO can probably fight this perception by introducing expensive range of phones and tablets and establish brand recognition by the top celebrities and business personalities.
Otherwise as the battle for the African market continues, TECNO appears to be having an upper hand, for now.


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