Nigeria Smartphone Sales up 81% YoY in 2021; TECNO Retains Top Position

  • TECNO saw annual growth of 65%, retaining its top position for the fifth consecutive year.
  • Nearly 3 in 4 smartphones sold in 2021 were LTE enabled.
  • The average selling price (ASP) increased 9% YoY in 2021.

 New Delhi, Seoul, Hong Kong, Beijing, London, Buenos Aires, San Diego – April 25, 2022

Annual smartphone sales in Nigeria grew 81% YoY in 2021, according to Counterpoint Research’s Global Monthly Handset Sales Tracker. Nigeria’s smartphone market entered a slowdown in early 2020 amid pandemic restrictions. However, the market saw rising demand in 2021 driven by improving economic conditions, pent-up demand, and entry of new Chinese OEMs. Besides, increasing digital adoption due to the pandemic, expansion of social media, entertainment, and mobile money, and drop in data costs also drove customer demand.

Talking about the network penetration in Nigeria, Research Associate Anam Padha said, “Sales share of LTE smartphones in Nigeria grew to 72% in 2021, while that of 3G smartphones dropped. The expansion of 4G networks by operators will keep data costs low even as better connection quality and improved internet experience fuel further growth. 5G smartphone sales penetration grew from 0.3% in 2020 to 3% in 2021.”

Discussing the ASP trend, Research Associate Ravyansh Yadav said, “The ASP of smartphones sold in Nigeria grew 9% in 2021 driven by demand for devices capable of handling heavy internet use. Nearly 90% of smartphone sales in 2021 were in the less than $200 price band, where Transsion brands Infinix, itel and TECNO captured 63% share. Transsion brands are expected to maintain their price competitiveness for the foreseeable future.”

Commenting on the macroeconomic conditions in Nigeria, Senior Analyst Yang Wang said, “Overall, the economic situation in Nigeria has been better than initially feared. This is primarily due to COVID-19 not causing as much damage to the healthcare system. The Nigerian Naira dropped 8% against the US dollar in 2021, as the currency was more resilient than initially expected. Furthermore, the economy was boosted by rising energy and agricultural commodity prices, which increased government revenues and household income. Looking ahead, rising oil prices will continue to boost the country’s state sectors, but there are worries that high inflationary pressure, especially in food prices, may damage consumer sentiment towards big-ticket items like smartphones.”

Counterpoint’s Global Monthly Handset Model Sales (Sell-through) Tracker, Feb 2022

Market Summary

  • TECNO, Samsung and itel captured over half of the smartphone sales in Nigeria in 2021.
  • TECNO recorded its highest-ever annual smartphone sales in 2021 to reach 5 million units. The brand also managed to maintain its top position for the fifth consecutive year, driven by the performance of its Camon series, multiple sales events, and an increase in marketing activities.
  • Samsung overtook itel to grab the second position in 2021, more than doubling its annual smartphone sales in Nigeria. Swap-and-trade as an upgrade option for customers, price cuts during sales events, multiple new launches in the popular A series and celebrity endorsements drove its growth.
  • itel captured a 19% sales share driven by a strong low-tier portfolio, partnership with retail outlet Spectrum in Q3 2021, multiple launches and aggressive promotional activities.
  • Infinix showed rapid growth at 163% YoY in 2021 driven by popular mass-market series Hot and Note.
  • Xiaomi was the fastest-growing brand with 173% YoY growth in 2021. The Redmi 8 and Note 8 series were its best performers. Xiaomi put greater focus on brand visibility with its marketing strategies in 2021, especially during the launch of the Redmi 10 series.

With inflation likely to remain high, smartphone ASP is expected to increase further in 2022 in Nigeria. The demand for low-tier smartphones is expected to rise further due to accelerating digitalization. However, growth may be capped by supply chain issues, which have improved in early 2022 but not completely resolved. Transsion brands are positioned well to capitalize on this opportunity but may face increasing competition from new Chinese OEMs like Xiaomi, OPPO and vivo. The Nigerian smartphone market is likely to remain flat in 2022, despite the government lifting the ban on new SIM registrations.

Note: The analysis is based on wholesale ASPs.

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For more insights on the Middle East and Africa smartphone market, please go through our MEA Smartphone Market Report, Q4 2021.

You can also visit our Data Section (updated quarterly) to view the smartphone market share for World, USA, China and India.


Counterpoint Technology Market Research is a global research firm specializing in products in the TMT (technology, media, and telecom) industry. It services major technology and financial firms with a mix of monthly reports, customized projects and detailed analyses of the mobile and technology markets. Its key analysts are seasoned experts in the high-tech industry.

Analyst Contacts:

Yang Wang

Anam Padha


Ravyansh Yadav

Counterpoint Research

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Transsion Group’s Smartphone Market Share Reaches Its Highest Ever in Nigeria in 3Q 2018

  • Transsion Group (Tecno, Itel and Infinix) recorded its highest ever share in the smartphone segment in a single quarter.
  • Samsung captured #1 position in Smartphone Segment in Nigeria during Q3 2018.
  • Top five brands captured 74% share of the total smartphone market in Nigeria in Q3 2018.

New Delhi, Hong Kong, Seoul, London, Beijing, San Diego, Buenos Aires – November 15th, 2018

According to the latest research from Counterpoint’s Market Pulse service, Nigeria’s smartphone sales grew 8% sequentially driven by new launches and a growing number of smartphone users.

Commenting on the brand performance, Anshika Jain, Research Analyst at Counterpoint Research said, “The Transsion Group has taken a lead in both the feature phone and smartphone segments in Nigeria. The combined share of its brands, Tecno, Itel and Infinix, reached an all-time high in the third quarter of 2018, driven by its affordable offerings, advanced features and strong distribution network. The OEM also launched its affordable Android Go offering during the quarter which started off well, especially the 3G version.”

Commenting on the overall market Ms. Jain said, “We expect the smartphone market to grow 8% sequentially in 4Q 2018 due to the entry of new players, an increasing number of new launches and the availability of device financing options. The major OEMs have also started forming partnerships with leading operators (like Airtel Nigeria, Globacom) to drive smartphone adoption in Nigeria. These operators are rolling out bundled plans and offering discounts and freebies on various smartphone devices.

Looking at the major findings, Tarun Pathak, Associate Director at Counterpoint Research said, “The number of internet users in Nigeria reached 104 million in July 2018. The increasing number of internet subscribers is attributed to the reduced prices of smartphones and rising purchasing power of the citizens, reflecting the end of the recessionary cycle and the relative stability of the Nigerian currency. The growth in internet users along with upcoming investments by tech giants in the digital content space is creating a favourable ecosystem to promote Nigeria’s technology sector. Having said that, we believe that both feature phones and smartphones will stay relevant in the Nigeria market for some time. There are ecosystem players like KaiOS that are further working with OEMs and operators to launch affordable 3G/4G feature phones for ‘bottom-of-the-pyramid users where entry-level smartphone penetration remains modest”.


       Exhibit 1: Nigeria Smartphone Market Share                                 Nigeria Feature Phone Market Share

Source: Counterpoint Research Market Pulse Q3 2018


Market Summary:

  • The smartphone segment contributed to 55% of the total handset market during Q3 2018, up from 51% in Q2 2018.
  • The smartphone segment grew 8% sequentially driven by new launches and a growing number of smartphone users.
  • The top five brands captured a 74% share of the total smartphone market.
  • Samsung remained the brand leader in the smartphone segment with 29% share as the company has launched its refreshed J series (J4 and J6) in Nigeria.
  • Transsion Group (with its brands Tecno, Itel and Infinix) led Nigeria’s smartphone market with 41% share, when all its brands are combined. This represents 17% growth QoQ. The dominance of Chinese players is reflected by their wide and affordable portfolio, along with a focus on design and quality.
  • Tecno’s smartphone sales grew 11% sequentially with the Tecno Spark 2 being the best-selling device for the brand.
  • Itel grew 14% QoQ capturing 11% share driven by its strong distribution network, social media presence and variety of new launches with the main emphasis on improving battery and camera capabilities. Its recently launched devices (A32F, P32 and A15) based on Android Oreo (Go addition) make up one-third of its total smartphone portfolio.
  • Infinix was the fastest growing brand in Nigeria in Q3 2018 because of its value for money offerings and growing demand by young professionals. Its Hot series models Hot 6 and Hot 6 Pro (launched last quarter) accounted for 38% of its total portfolio sales, because of their camera-centric features that appeal to young, social-media-savvy adults. The brand opened its first flagship exclusive store in Nigeria in July 2018.
  • Huawei has been in the top five list for two consecutive quarters with 28% QoQ growth.
  • Doogee also emerged as one of the leading smartphone brands in Nigeria due to the introduction of multiple new devices and advanced features in its budget series. The brand has recently launched five new smartphones in Nigeria.
  • In the feature phone segment, Tecno and itel captured 77% share of the total market in 3Q 2018.
  • Going forward, we estimate there is a sizeable opportunity for feature phone players to gain market share as Nigeria is still an underpenetrated market where OEMs can focus on launching new feature phone devices aimed at price-sensitive customers.

The comprehensive and in-depth Q3 2018 Market Pulse is available for subscribing clients. Please feel free to contact us at press(at) for further questions regarding our in-depth latest research, insights or press enquiries.


Analyst Contacts:

Tarun Pathak
+91 9971213665


Anshika Jain

+91 9873903650


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