Chinese manufacturing giant, Xiaomi, is known to concentrate more on the foreign market rather than the congested Chinese smartphone market. Its giant strides in India and parts of Europe have not gone unnoticed and now, the company seeks to penetrate Africa. Today, Xiaomi announced the establishment of the African Regional Department and Wang Lingming (Xiaomi’s VP) was appointed as manager of the department. He will directly report to Wang Xiang, senior vice president of Xiaomi.
Africa has over 1.2 billion people but the smartphone usage is not as high as other markets with many preferring to stick with feature phones. Due to cultural and economic differences, most domestic mobile phone manufacturers have not developed well in Africa. As of now, Transsion Holdings is the “King” of the African smartphone market and its three brands – itel, TECNO, and Infinix rank first in Africa in terms of market share, surpassing brands such as Samsung and Apple.
IDC data shows that in 2017, the company sold nearly 130 million mobile phones worldwide. In 2019, the African market will become one of the main pioneers of Xiaomi’s 2019 international business, and its biggest rival is undoubtedly Transsion Holdings. However, we believe that Xiaomi will succeed in Africa if it penetrates the region using its recently established Redmi Brand. The African market is very similar to the Indian smartphone market. The high-end market which is very small is already claimed by Samsung and Apple. Transsion just takes advantage of the mid and low-end market which is comparatively much larger.
Since Redmi is positioned to release high-spec phones at low prices, this is exactly what will catch the mind of Africans. In addition, much of the continent better appreciate offline purchase as e-marketing is still trying to gain the trust of the people. If Xiaomi put price and marketing strategy into consideration, it will probably do well in the region.