The Nigerian mobile phone market continues to attract handset makers from around the world thanks to the country’s large mobile-focused population.
Year after year, the number of phones sold in nigeria it is increasing as the country moves to close the digital divide.
According to global research firm Counterpoint, smartphone sales in Nigeria grew 81% year-on-year in 2021, fueled by pent-up demand and the entry of new Chinese Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs).
- With active subscriptions for mobile services increasing by more than 10 million this year according to data released by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), more phones may have been sold in Nigeria this year despite the economic difficulties.
- However, the high demand for phones in Nigeria has created a vibrant market for sellers of low-quality and counterfeit phones. The NCC has repeatedly warned that such phones could be detrimental to the health of users and also affect the quality of the network that users get.
- Meanwhile, the used phone market is booming as well, with tons of used phones from the UK, US and other countries hitting the Nigerian market.
- This has prompted the telecoms regulator to raid some stores to arrest some phone vendors who have not gone through their type approval processes.
- According to the NCC, as of November this year, 1,891 phones have been approved for the Nigerian market. The devices, which are of different makes and models, have been tested by the NCC and have met the applicable type approval standards required for them to be sold to consumers in Nigeria.
- These approvals give a clear picture of the number of phone models sold in Nigeria and which brand has the most number of phones in the market. Nairametrics took a look at the NCC’s approval database. Below are highlighted the Top 10 Phone Brands in Nigeria by the number of their approved phones so far.
12. iPhone (24 models)
Nigerians don’t use Apple iPhones as much as other brands because of their price. But many Nigerians who want to ‘belong’ and can’t afford a new iPhone are opting for overseas-used versions of it.
Despite that, most iPhone models have secured regulatory approvals to be sold in Nigeria. As of November, the NCC has approved 24 iPhone models.
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11. Xiaomi (34 models)
Xiaomi, another Chinese mobile brand, announced its entry into the Nigerian market in April 2019 with the launch of its Redmi Note 7 in Lagos. Since then, the company has introduced several other models of its phones in the market. And according to the latest count, Xiaomi now has a total of 34 models sold in the country.
10. Alive (36 models)
Vivo is currently one of the world’s leading smartphone manufacturers in terms of smartphone shipments. In August 2019, Vivo marked its entrance by introducing its first set of smartphones in Nigeria – the Y series comprising four generations, Y15, Y17, Y11 and Y12 respectively. Since then, the brand has increased its offering of devices in Nigeria, with 36 models approved.
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9. Oppo (38 models)
OPPO officially launched its brand in Nigeria on April 26, 2019. Since then, it has continued to push its devices across the country. Quite popular with its Reno series, OPPO has enjoyed acceptance in the Nigerian market for being one of the leading smartphone vendors in the country. The total number of approved devices of the brand in the market as of November of this year was 38.
8. Gionee (42 models)
Established in 2002, Gionee is a Chinese high-tech company engaged in the design, research and development (R&D), manufacturing and sales of mobile devices to international markets, and providing mobile Internet application services.
Gionee entered the Nigerian mobile phone market in August 2013 with the launch of its E6 of ELIFE series of smartphones. The brand now has a total of 42 models of its devices approved for the Nigerian market.
7. ZTE (46 models)
Although ZTE has been operating in Nigeria since 2002 as an equipment provider telecom operator, the company became the largest phone provider for code division multiple access (CDMA) providers like Starcomms, Multilinks and the rest. While the CDMA carriers are long gone, ZTE has also been shipping smartphones to the Nigerian market. And as of November 2022, the company has had a total of 46 devices approved for the market.
6. Infinix (83 models)
Also, from the stable of Chinese Transsion Group, Infinix came to Nigeria in 2013 and has continued to produce a number of smart devices in the market. Popular for its dual SIM enabled devices along with affordability compared to other brands, the Chinese phone brand is one of the leading brands in the country today. Its market-approved phone models stood at 83 as of November.
5. Itel (107 models)
Itel, a member of China’s Transsion group, made its official entry into the Nigerian market in February 2007 with the launch of its iNote series of smartphones targeting the African market with high-performance, reasonably priced products. The company competes favorably in the low-end smartphone market in Nigeria today. According to NCC data, a total of 107 Itel phone models are currently in the Nigerian market.
Like Nokia, Samsung was among the first set of mobile brands to grace the Nigerian market at the start of the GSM revolution. While the brand is popular for its high-end smartphones, its entry-level phones were among the best-selling devices in Nigeria in the early days of GSM. Today, Samsung is one of the leading brands in the country with 191 models of its phones so far approved by the NCC as fit for market.
3. Huawei (139 models)
Huawei is quite a popular global vendor supplying telecommunication equipment. Interestingly, its mobile manufacturing prowess is also great as it is now one of the leading mobile device manufacturers in the world. The company started manufacturing mobile phones in 2003 and its first set of mobile phones was introduced to the Nigerian market in 2005. So far, Huawei has a total of 139 devices approved for the Nigerian market.
2.Nokia (311 models)
Nokia was one of the first mobile brands to come to Nigeria. The brand entered the market at the beginning of the GSM revolution in 2001 along with other brands such as Trium, Sagem, Sendo, Samsung and Motorola, among others. Among the first Nokia phones shipped to Nigeria was the popular Nokia 3310, which was considered by many to be stronger than other models and more durable. While Nokia has since lost its dominance of the market in Nigeria and around the world, even with a number of changes in ownership, the brand still has the second highest number of phones approved in the Nigerian market today with 311.
1.Techno (358 models)
One of the first Chinese mobile brands to enter Nigeria, Tecno hit the market in 2006 with a mission to provide affordable phones to Nigerians. Many Nigerians, who could not afford the expensive smartphones at the time, found support in the brand, which also appeals to the market need by making their devices dual-SIM.
Today, Tecno, the eldest of Transsion Group’s mobile trio, which includes Infinix and iTel, has the most models approved for the Nigerian market. According to NCC data, Tecno outperforms other brands with a total of 358 models of its devices on the market.