TECNO, Nokia Lead the Smart and Feature Phone Packs in Kenya

Shipment of devices under KES 10000 declined during the quarter as retailers shifted their attention to the premium segment of the market.

TECNO Camon 16s back

Q4 2020 was an interesting quarter in the Kenya phone space.

The period saw notable mobile phone growth at 15% quarter on quarter.

New data has also revealed that smartphone shipments were up by 11.3%.

Feature phone shipments grew too to 20.8%.

According to IDC’s worldwide quarterly mobile phone tracker, the numbers showcase an overall market drop of 2.0% in 2020.

Feature phone shipments were down by 8.7% YoY for 2020, whereas smartphone shipments increased by 3.3%.

The growth recorded in the quarter is attributed to aggressive marketing and advertising campaigns.

Q4 is also a holiday season, which is served by a ton of deals including Christmas offers, and Black Friday sales.

The reduction of VAT to 14%, as well as the PAYE exemption for low-income earners contributed to the growth.

Furthermore, smartphone shipments constituted 59% of the overall mobile phone shipments in the period under review. Major manufacturers also released multiple devices to meet market demands.

The demand stemmed from the need to access products and services online, which was also accelerated by the ongoing pandemic.

The smartphone space was led by TECNO at 30.7% share of total shipments.

The Transsion-owned company was followed by Samsung, Huawei and Safaricom’s Neon models at 14%, 10.2% and 8.4% unit shares.

Feature phones contributed 41% of the total mobile phone shipments over that period.

The devices are still popular because they are affordable to groups that do not have disposable cash for smartphones thanks to their low average selling price.

Dumb phones are also used as secondary devices because of their extended battery life.

The feature phone space primarily features Nokia at 44.5% share, itel 29.3% share and TECNO with 24.8% share.

Also, the average selling price of smartphones in Q4 2020 grew 5.3% quarter on quarter due to the launch of new handhelds in pricier tiers.

Shipment of devices under KES 10000 declined during the quarter as retailers shifted their attention to the premium segment of the market. This move saw lower than expected sales realized at the budget segment.

The KES 10-15K segement remained stable as the share of the KES 15-30K band grew on the back of the new releases.

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Kenn Abuya is a friend of technology, with bias in enterprise and mobile tech. Share your thoughts, tips and hate mail at [email protected]


  1. I think Tecno led across the continents in numbers of devices imported, means they still have a great hold on the mobile phones market

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