China's transcendence dominated the African phone market

China's transcendence dominated the African phone market

In 2008, Transian Holding sold its first mobile phone in Nigeria. With no identity in China, the Transcendentalists expanded their influence throughout Africa within a decade. In 2017, it surpassed Samsung to become the number one supplier on the African continent.

Who is behind Transition?

Zhu Zhaojiang worked for the overseas business arm of Chinese mobile phone maker Ningo Bird in the 2000s. But later Zhaojiang left Ningo Bird to open his own company, Transian Holding.

He established Transian's first office in Lagos in 2008. He founded the company to sell mobile phones in the African market, target sub-urban Africa.

‘In the past, companies doing business in Africa and South Asia did not spend on research and development. In fact, emerging markets (R&D) need effort, ”Zhu told the Global Times.

More than a decade later, Transian began operating three brands from its headquarters in Shenzhen, China. Which were Infinix, Itel, and Techno.

The three brands were jointly represented as the best-selling mobile phone brands in Africa. He sold both features and smartphones.

In the last four months of 2019, Transian sold 40 percent of smartphones in Africa, according to research firm IDC. For the past three years, Transian has led Africa in terms of market share.

The company is now listed on China's Tech Focus Star Market. It had raised करोड 400 million in September 2019.

The company currently has a market cap of over अर्ब 7 billion. The world's leading budget smartphone maker Xiaomi has a market cap of अर्ब 39 billion.

How did you make it possible?

Transian's ideal is based on the business strategy of globalization. They produce items that can be sold worldwide but can be customized in specific markets or regions. When it comes to making smartphones, Transian has always focused on the features that African countries need.

Many African mobile connoisseurs know that more than one SIM card is needed to avoid network charges and get good connectivity in a low coverage area. But many can't afford two phones.

But Transition solved the problem in 2008 with a dual SIM phone. Two years later, Nokia Phone also introduced dual SIM service. Some Transition phones today have up to four SIM features.

Another feature that makes a techno brand stand out is its camera. Which could give good exposure even in black skin tone. The transition has invested heavily in the R&D of the project.

He analyzed millions of photographs of black Africans. Local users' exposure and color temperature settings were also surveyed. In the end, he synthesized those things in the design of his own camera.

Techno also became the first phone brand in Ethiopia to offer a keyboard in its mother tongue Amharic. This created a new customer base. Over time, Swahili and Hausa keyboards were added to the Transition device.

These phones are cheap

Transian's feature phones now sell for up to २० 20. In sub-Saharan African countries such as Kenya, Ghana, and Ethiopia, the average price of an entry-level mobile phone is 69 percent of a person's monthly income, according to a 2019 report by the Mobile Network Trade Association GSMA.

But 20 percent of the people in these countries are very poor, with a three-month monthly income equal to the price of an entry-level phone. That is why the price of a phone is so important in these countries.

With this in mind, Transition did not include features such as a palm-sized screen, multiple lens cameras, and advanced computing power to reduce phone charges. Instead of full-fledged smartphones, he sold feature phones.

Users could call, text, and use apps such as Facebook and Internet browsers such as Opera Mini. They did not have access to the third-party Android App Store.

First of all, Transian focused on making cheap model phones and over time it gradually moved towards smartphone manufacturing and expanded its influence in rural areas as well. This is where Low & Market established Techno and iTel.

The Transcend brand ranks eighth among the top 10 smartphones to be sold in Africa in August 2019. Intel's IT 1406 is the cheapest phone on the list, with a retail price of  35. Its closest competitor, Huawei, sells the Y6 Pro for 101.

Today, even in the low-cost segment of phones, Transian has overtaken competitors, including Nokia. The Finnish company, which started selling phones in Africa in the mid-1990s, once led the market.

But in feature phones, it ranked second in Africa in 2019 and had a 10 percent market share. Transition now accounts for more than two-thirds of the market.

Will they stop in Africa?

The transition has expanded its construction operations in 2019 to Pakistan, Bangladesh, and India. IDC's senior mobile market research manager Ramazan Yabhuj says it could be successful in the Indian subcontinent as it is a successful brand on a regional basis.

The transition will also test India's ability to use its globalization strategy in a larger and more competitive environment. India has a population that can afford to buy premium models of smartphones in the African market where Transian works.

Budget segment companies Oppo, Huawei, and Xiaomi have spent years here. India is the world's second-largest smartphone market after China. There is still room for 'Ultra Low and Device'.