Forget the big brands: Perhaps smaller brands are the real beauty of Android OS

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Reading news about big smartphone brands can leave one with the impression that the Android ecosystem is a cacophony of crises. Everywhere you turn, one brand or the other is making losses and/or cutting down. However, should one take a microscope to the playing field, one shall find an innumerable number of small manufacturers who are doing fine in their tiny space. The real beauty and success of Android smartphones may not be in the big brands after all. It just might very well be in the small player space.


Scores of small Android smartphone brands are doing innovative stuff. They do not command impressive marketshare, but they serve satisfied customers who return to buy their products again and again. So, forget the numbers for a change. In some cases, some of these brands do not produce and sell more than 500 units of each model that they release. But they do get them sold. Some others produce a few hundreds of thousands per model.

One can imagine that the profit margin is narrow. But again, we are talking about teams of two to five individuals who are partnering with with factory somewhere in China or India to turn into reality their conceptions. Many offer low prices as their USP (unique selling point). Others offer better security, privacy, simplicity, protection and other features like terrestrial TV, scanners, stereo speakers, among others. That is the beauty – anyone can build. And we have really small players piggy-backing on major brands and players to meet real needs here and there.

TECNO. Pliris Mobile. Infinix. Innjoo. Obi Worldphone. Orbra. Wileyfox. Yezz. Gowin. Blue Gate. Ken Xin Da. MBO. Q7. Malata. Fly. Bontel.

These are just a few. The complete list is so long that it will take quite some reading if I were to list them all. I doubt that I even know them all. But these are all brands that do not show up on the global top charts of smartphone marketshare. Being private companies, nobody but those inside them know how really profitable their operations are, but they are they churning out those devices again and again, and they have loyal followings.

Perhaps these are the real beauty of the Android ecosystem riding strong on the fact that anyone – no matter how small and unknown – can take the OS and build on it as they see fit.


  1. Right on the ball.

    Somebody was telling me that the Japanese are behind in electronics because Sony,Sharp, and old big guards are in financial hole.

    I then mentioned that, it’s possible for the far lesser known brands to be turning great products out, and making tidy profits.

    They may not be big, but being big is not everything. There are stars, suns, moons.. in the galaxy. They don’t all have go be the same size, but they do.complement each other .

    Same situation here.

  2. essentially OEMs looking for a niche, but these OEMs almost always want to expand their footprint from that niche (eg Cyanogen Inc, Oppo)

  3. In Essence,the SKY is big enough for all the birds to fly just have to find your NICHE and make the best of it..

  4. “it’s possible for the far lesser known brands to be turning great products out, and making tidy profits.”

    That would be the likes of Haier, Beko, Blaupunkt (we thought they were dead but they aren’t!), Technika, Digihome and many others.

    People have realised that, when you buy a Sony, Sharp etc TV, you are really paying for the brand name. And you can get a pretty good product – sometimes better – at a fraction of the price.

  5. Smaller brands are not the real beauty of Android.

    Diversity is.

    All diverse brands, whether big or small, are necessary and make Android tick.

  6. @Noni hit the nail on the butt… why buy a name, when u can get same at a price that ain’t insane

  7. True talk Mr. Mo., The variety seems to be upping by the day and the monopoly of the Big brands done away with I foresee a Leveling in the next 10 years!

    Really love the simple new look of your site.

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