I was at the famous Computer Village in Ikeja, Lagos last week and got the shock of my life. I saw tons and tons of

Computer Village in Lagos is now Chinese

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I was at the famous Computer Village in Ikeja, Lagos last week and got the shock of my life. I saw tons and tons of relatively unknown mobile brands that I had not seen before. On banners, on t-shirts, on posters, everywhere I turned, there was one new or strange mobile brand. And they were all Chinese.

Computer Village Ikeja

You know the highly visible ones: TECNO, Innjoo, iTel. Here are some of the others:

  • Gowin
  • Blue Gate
  • Ken Xin Da
  • MBO (this brand even has a service centre there in Ikeja)
  • Q7
  • Malata
  • Fly
  • Bontel

I am sure that there are more that I must have missed. Beyond banners and all, I did see some actual devices of the above brands, and quite a few of them looked really good. Many looked quite bland and uninspiring, but of course, the target market (the bottom of the pyramid) really does not care for the fancy stuff. The phones are very cheap, and that is it.

While Nigeria’s middle and upper class stay glued on the big brands, it is these smaller, China-produced devices that are putting smartphones in the hands of the majority of Nigerians who live below the poverty line. It is mostly these that are driving the huge gains in the country’s smartphone penetration.

Computer Village (read: the Nigerian smartphone market) is now Chinese. But then, the global mobile market began a shift to China a few years ago. No surprises.

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  1. Yes o.

    No surprise. After all, even the known brands like Samsung and Co are mostly manufactured in China, anyway.

    What’s in a name.?

    Like vehicles, it is the branding that sells this things, not the actual content.

    If Apple, or Samsung would agree to place it’s logo on some of the No_name, higher spec’d Chinese brands, it would still sell like Akara balls

  2. The king of Chinese cheapocrats(my coinage), Xiaomi, is already posturing for global dominance and giving Apple and Samsung the jitters in China, the world’s largest phone market.

    When will Xiaomi land in Nigeria and take over Computer Village?

    We are waiting…

  3. Xiaomi aren’t kings of cheap devices. they have significant overheads in R&D. the real kings of cheap (TCL and co) don’t even brand their devices per se

  4. I am kinda uncomfortable with this development…can’t say what to make of it really. But when you look at the fact that its helping to deepen smartphone penetration then perhaps there is a good thing here…Otherwise I’d say we are having tons of inferior devices on our hands…

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