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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Apple Shipped Record iPhones in Q4 2020, Global Smartphone Market Continues to Recover

• The global smartphone market continued to recover in Q4 2020, rebounding 8% QoQ to 395.9 million units.
• Apple’s 8% YoY and 96% QoQ growth helped it lead the market in Q4 2020.
• Samsung slipped to the second spot with 62.5 million units in Q4 2020, However, it led the overall market in CY 2020.
• For the first time, OPPO and vivo surpassed Huawei to capture the fourth and fifth spots respectively, Huawei slipped to the sixth spot.
• realme emerged as the fastest growing brand in CY 2020 with 65% YoY growth.

Boston, Toronto, London, New Delhi, Beijing, Taipei, Seoul – January 28, 2021

The Global Smartphone market declined 1% YoY in Q4 2020, according to the latest research from Counterpoint’s Market Monitor service. However, the market rose 8% QoQ in Q4 2020, recovering from the global impact of COVID-19. The quarter experienced a subdued recovery from the pandemic especially in areas like Western Europe and LATAM due to the emergence of new strains of the virus coupled with a spike in new infections.

Commenting on the market dynamics, Research Analyst, Aman Chaudhary said, “The market declined 10% YoY in CY 2020 due to the spread of COVID-19 and the resulting lockdowns, which impacted performance in the first half of the year.  With the easing of lockdowns, the market rebounded in the second half thanks to pent-up demand being fulfilled by the streamlined supply chain. It is interesting to note that the market also made a distinct migration from feature phones to smartphones as the devices became a medium for education, work and entertainment. A strong 5G push by the industry through reduced device prices and operator tariffs further boosted the market’s recovery process.”

Counterpoint Research: Global Smartphone Shipment Market Share CY 2019 and CY 2020

  • Samsung retained its top spot, shipping 255.7 million units in CY 2020, down 14% YoY. The decline is mainly due to a slow Q4 2020 due to intensifying competition. Samsung is facing stiff competition in the mid segment from the Chinese OEMs and in the premium segment from the iPhone 12 series.
    For Q4, Apple captured the top spot in the Global Smartphone Market. The pent-up demand for a new 5G iPhone, strong carrier promotions, especially in the US, and the iPhone 11’s longevity are some of the reasons for this growth.
  • Despite the sanctions and severe component shortages after the escalated US trade ban, Huawei managed to achieve the No 3 spot for CY 2020 thanks to its strong performance in China, which contributed around 70% of its total shipments. Huawei’s performance was driven by new 5G models such as the Mate 40 Pro and Nova 7.
  • realme became the fastest growing brand for the year, growing 65% YoY in shipment volume.
  • Xiaomi global smartphone shipments grew 31% YoY to 43 million units in Q4 2020. In China, Xiaomi’s shipments increased 46% YoY to 12 million units due to the Single’s Day sales season and HONOR’s weakening performance. Xiaomi continued to enjoy an impressive growth driven by its hot-selling models such as the Redmi 9, Redmi 9A and Redmi 10X especially in the overseas market and mainly in Europe. This growth came at the expense of Huawei and HONOR.
  • OPPO grew 8% YoY and 10% QoQ to achieve 9% market share (34 million units) in Q4 2020. Notably, this was also the first time OPPO and vivo surpassed Huawei to capture the fourth and fifth spots, respectively. Commenting on OPPO’s performance, Chaudhary said “OPPO’s strong performance was driven by its aggressive strategies to expand its presence in the overseas markets, particularly in Europe and the MEA (the Middle East and Africa). The brand leveraged the opportunity created by the absence of Huawei in major international markets. OPPO also performed well in the India market with its shipments growing 11% YoY in 2020. This growth was driven by pre-festive season promotions in October. Additionally, we saw the brand marking its entry into the IoT ecosystem through products such as Smart TVs.”

Counterpoint Research: Global Smartphone Shipment Market Share Q4 2020While the overall market continued to rebound from the ill effects of COVID-19, 5G also continued to grow. Commenting on the 5G scenario, Senior Research Analyst, Harmeet Singh Walia said, “5G shipments continued to accelerate registering a 120% QoQ jump in Q4. The overall 5G smartphone penetration increased to 34% of total smartphone shipments compared to 17% in the previous quarter. The growth was driven by the launch of the iPhone 12 and a strong portfolio of products from brands like OnePlus, OPPO, Xiaomi and vivo in the sub-$300 price band. Also, there was a large pent-up demand for 5G phones, especially within the iOS base. China accounted for ~40% of the total 5G smartphones shipped in CY 2020. Apple’s entry will be a strong influence in driving 5G adoption outside China in 2021.” 

Other key takeaways:

  • Samsung shipped 62.5 million units in Q4 2020, down 11% YoY mainly due to the increase in Apple shipments across regions. The Galaxy A series, a mid-to-low-end product lineup continued to perform well.
  • Tecno performed well in key African markets such as Kenya, Uganda, and Nigeria. It gained 11% YoY and 22% QoQ. The Camon 15 and Pouvoir series were the major volume drivers. The newly launched Spark 5 is expected to further drive the performance in coming quarters.
  • Continuing its push in the global market, vivo surpassed Huawei during the quarter. The brand registered 6% YoY growth during the quarter, driven by a strong growth momentum in overseas markets, such as in MEA and Southeast Asia. The brand also introduced a new operating system OriginOS, which comes with a host of visual changes and offers several features such as Klotski Grid, Nano Alerts, Live Wallpapers, Enhanced Memory Fusion Technology 1.0, and Multi-Turbo 5.0.
  • Google performance improved over the quarter driven by the Pixel 4A and Pixel 5. It offered attractive discounts on its new range of 5G devices in the US which emerged as a strong alternative to other mid-range Android devices.
  • Motorola declined 16% in Q4 2020. The brand is attempting to shift presence from prepaid to postpaid channels through significant promotions such as $400-off with the new RAZR and $50 to $300 off with other products. The Moto G Stylus and Moto G Fast remain the best-selling models for the brand.
  • LG was stronger with device launches. Q4 was an improvement both for K-series and 5G devices such as the LG Wing.
  • 5G smartphones contributed to 34% of global smartphone shipments in Q4 2020 and are expected to be around two-thirds of total shipments in 2023.

For press comments and inquiries please reach out to press (at)


Counterpoint Technology Market Research is a global research firm specializing in Technology products in the TMT industry. It services major technology firms and financial firms with a mix of monthly reports, customized projects and detailed analysis of the mobile and technology markets. Its key analysts are experts in the industry with an average tenure of 13 years in the high-tech industry.

You can also visit our Data Section (updated quarterly) to view the smartphone market share Globally and from the USAChina, and India.

Some of our other regional smartphone market analysis for Q4 2020 can be found below:

Infographic: The Q2 Handset/Smartphone Market in One Page

Below is one of the infographics we update quarterly to summarize the events each quarter for the handset and smartphone market. The data comes from our Q2 2014 quarterly Market Monitor report.

This quarter it was all about the rise of local brands such as Xiaomi, Micromax cropping across parts of Asia, Europe and Latin America. These are becoming a big threat to incumbents such as Samsung, LG, Nokia and others as they chip away marketshare in smartphones and featurephones segment. Which are these brands? Why and How these brands have become successful? What does future hold for these brands and the competition?

Please feel free to reach out to us for press or this research related questions at analyst (at) 

P.S. For the high quality PDF version please send an email request to info(at)

Q2-2014-Global Mobile Market Monitor V4

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