Chinese handset maker Transsion Holdings Ltd which, which owns Tecno, Infinix and Itel continues to gain traction in the African market having shipped 45 million handsets into the African market in 2014. This was a 21% increase from 2013 sales. In January of 2015, the company shipped 7 million handsets which, placed it second behind giant Huawei that shipped 8.4 million devices.
Transsion Holdings, formerly known as Tecno Telecom Limited launched several devices including the Tecno Phantom Z, Tecno F6, Itel IT 680, itel IT 1453 and unveiled Infinix launched early last year targeted at the high end market. Most of the devices sold by Transsion have targeted the low-tier and mid-range budget segment which has fuelled their popularity. The company also runs a mobile messaging application called Palmchat that has nearly 60 million users mainly in Africa aimed at cementing its position in the African market. The company has further opened offices in Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana and Madagascar complete with service centres for the devices.
The current numbers are a major increase from the modest sales the company made when it first launched in the African market in 2008, when it sold a paltry 40,000 devices. The company has been able to sell the devices by offering features such as dual-sim capabilities, affordability of the devices and aggressive ad campaigns. The company has also had to contend with the problem of counterfeits. The company has moved to avert this problem by launching the website that allows the user to check the battery serial number and phone IMEI number. The company has also moved some of its manufacturing operations to Africa by establishing an assembly plant in Ethiopia.
Additional Reporting: caixin.com