Transsion Holdings, the company behind TECNO, Infinix and Itel, is the number one mobile phone company by sales in Africa having sold more than 50 million phones in the first half of 2017, in Africa alone. This huge number of phones sold, make Transsion Holdings China’s largest phone exporter by volume.
Globally, Transsion Holdings takes the fourth position in sales, after Samsung, Apple and Huawei. “In volume terms, we are bigger than Huawei, though in value terms they are bigger,” said Zhu Zhaojiang, Transsion founder,and CEO, while speaking to Financial Times.
As much as Transsion is number four phone manufacturer globally in terms of sales volume, the company falls to number thirteen in sales revenue, mainly due to its low pricing of phones that translate to low revenue margins. “I don’t target the highest income consumers who would buy Apple or Samsung,” added Mr Zhu
Interestingly, out of the 50M units sold, only 11M are smartphones. According to IDC, Transsion’s best-selling phones are feature phones. To put this into perspective, in 2016, 216 Million phones were shipped in total (not just from Transsion), from this number 57% were feature phones. This makes Itel Transsion’s biggest seller.
Transsion Holdings projects to export more than 100M mobile phone units this year resulting in $20BN revenue. To expand its reach, Transsion is moving its manufacturing out of China. The company said it is building a factory in India and an industrial park in Ethiopia where it already makes some phones.
“We will head out of Africa to other emerging markets. In the future, our focus will be on North Arica, India and Middle East,” said Mr Zhu. Transsion launched in India in 2016, where Itel has a market share of 8%, making Itel India’s third largest phone brand.