Each year, I do an article on the top smartphone brands in Nigeria by sales. I have been doing it for years now. This year 2024, there has been a massive upset.

The Top Smartphone Brands in Nigeria, By Sales Marketshare, in 2024

I was doing my rounds of the phone market in Nigeria and saw a derisive statement that someone made about a particular brand. The interesting thing is that the said brand is actually the top selling smartphone brand in Nigeria. Unfortunately, or fortunately, sentiments cannot overthrow facts. Let’s look at how things stand today in 2024.

Transsion (67%)

Transsion, makers of TECNO, Infinix, and Itel, are leading in Nigeria with a combined market share of 67%. Even if you divide that 67% into three equal parts (which isn’t the case), TECNO alone makes away with 22+%, which still puts it and each of its other sister brands ahead of the competition.

In reality, TECNO has the biggest chunk of that 67%. The brand alone outsells every other smartphone brand you can name in the Nigerian phone market and has been the top selling smartphone brand in Nigeria from as far back as 2020. After TECNO comes itel, with Infinix taking the rear spot among the three Transsion phone brands.

Transsion isn’t just nailing it in Nigeria alone. If you have been following the news, you will remember that in 2023, Transsion became the 5th largest smartphone brand in the world. Yes, 5th globally. You didn’t see that coming; did you?

Xiaomi (19%)

Making a glorious entrance on the list of the top smartphone brands in Nigeria is Xiaomi. Xiaomi has been working hard to get a chunk of the Nigerian smartphone market for itself, and they have largely succeeded at it. For a brand that had next to zero marketshare some years ago, Xiaomi now has almost 20% of phone sales in the country. You have to give it to them. Amazing job.

Will Xiaomi be able to sustain this blitz? Past records say they will. So expect things to heat up some more between Xiaomi and the Transsion brands (TECNO, Infinix, and itel) in the years ahead.

Samsung (6%)

Samsung used to be in the 2nd spot till now (and was once in 1st position, actually) but has finally been pushed down by new entrant, Xiaomi. Samsung’s share of sales has been squeezed quite a bit in the last two years. Most of Samsung’s sales come from the Galaxy A series which address the budget end of the market. But that is exactly where TECNO, Xiaomi, itel and Infinix have been strong. It can’t be any surprise to anyone that Samsung is losing sales to the competition.

Nokia/HMD (1%)

The once blazing phone giant called Nokia is now nothing but a shadow of its old self. Ten years ago, Nokia ruled the Nigerian phone market without a serious contender. Now, all they have is a measly 1% share and I wager even that will fizzle away to almost zero, soon. When was the last time you saw an exciting Nokia smartphone released in the market?

HMD Global, which has been producing Nokia phones, has spun off its own brand (named HMD) this year and is set to release some of those phones in Nigeria. Perhaps HMD can pull off some magic that they couldn’t pull off with Nokia phones? I have seen a few of their adverts for the HMD Pulse Pro – and they are bungling it. Why? Clicking on the adverts take you to a 404 page. SMH. They are already blowing the advert budget.

Anyway, for now, HMD is almost at the bottom of the list of top smartphone brands in Nigeria. In another year, we will be able to tell who will be there.

OPPO

OPPO has struggled to grab a significant share of the market, and it isn’t difficult to see why. I have used a few over the years and can tell you that OPPO makes fantastic phones. The “problem” is that OPPO does not make entry-level smartphones, and that is where most smartphone sales in Nigeria happens.

The cheapest OPPO phone in the market that I am aware of is the A17, costing ₦117,000. Not bad, but it is just above the entry-level threshold. Most of the phone sales in Nigeria happens below the ₦100,000 mark, and disposable income is harder now.

This means that while OPPO will have a loyal following of users who swear by it, the brand may never sell in massive numbers unless they go lower. And that’s okay, I guess. You don’t see Rolls Royce and Ferrari among the top selling cars in Nigeria either.

iPhone, Huawei, Vivo, and others

There are other smartphone brands selling in small numbers in Nigeria. They include Apple iPhone, Huawei, Vivo, and AGM. Huawei has been dropping off since the USA banned them from using certain American products and services, which meant that their devices mostly became crippled. How many people want to buy a smartphone they can’t use their Google services on?

Vivo has been active in the country, but is not making any big strides yet. There’s also AGM, mostly coasting along with minimal effort.

Apple lovers will puff and scream about how “everyone” they know has an iPhone. People who think iPhones are among the top smartphone brands in the country really do need to go outside and touch grass. Only a tiny fraction of Nigerians own iPhones, and only a very small chunk of that tiny fraction are purchased brand new. They are mostly second-hand, grey market purchases that cost way above entry-level territory. Apple iPhones are definitely not among the top smartphone brands in Nigeria. They never have been. Perhaps in another 500 years after Nigeria has become one of the most prosperous countries in the world, that will change.

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By Mister Mobility

Nigeria's foremost tech blogger and smartphone reviewer since 2003. He uses the phones he reviews as his main phone.

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