Reality Check: Top Selling Phones in Nigeria

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top selling phones in Nigeria

This morning, I had a discussion with a colleague over the top selling mobile phones in Nigeria. I am aware of a list that claims that the following devices are the top selling phones in Nigeria (as at September 2012):

1. Samsung Galaxy Pocket – costs around N15,000
2. Blackberry Curve 4 (9360) – costs over N30,000
3. Blackberry Bold 5 (9900) – costs over N80,000
4. Blackberry Curve 7 (9320) – costs over N30,000
5. Nokia Asha 202 – costs around N12,000

Let me say this as nice as I can: that list is absolute rubbish. In a country in which over 90% of the population live on less than $2.00 daily, if hell freezes over and heaven falls to the ground same day, there is no way that many of the above-listed phones are the top selling phones in Nigeria. I have seen the list myself, and this is not a list of top selling smartphones. It is specific – phones.

Have you seen those cheap sub-N5,000 phones by Nokia, Tecno and other brands, including China phones? Those are the phones that sell the most in this country. I don’t need any statistics to tell me that. I don’t care who drew up the above list or what credentials they have, that list is laughable. It is bad enough that getting statistics is hard in this country, but pushing out absolutely ridiculous “statistics” is worse. The above list sounds like the compiler sampled a handful of Nigerian online retail stores – who naturally do not offer devices below a certain price point (to cover delivery costs) to draw up the said list. On several of those stores, the iPhone 4S costing N99,000 is a top selling phone. Bah!

If you want to do statistics in Nigeria, do the leg work thoroughly and give us believable figures. This list is totally unbelievable. No one should believe it.


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  1. I know guys at Samsung keep records of all phones sold by shop owners (in major markets) across the nation. That may give a better result as regards phone sales in the country. Will try and get the info and get back here.

  2. The top selling phone should probably be a Nokia 101/102. those phones are just every where you go, and cost less than 4,000 naira. I don’t think I can be wrong on this.

  3. The list above could be valid for the top selling “smartphones”, but as for top selling phones in Nig., that’s way off mark. China built phone/radio/TV/microwave all-in-one phones are top on the list. Come to my beloved Northern Nig., as 1 person owning 2 of such phones…

  4. this sort of survey should be fairly easy to conduct.

    Take a few well known store, and check the sales over a period.

    It is pretty obvious that ultra low-end devices would constitute the bulk of phone sales in Nigeria, given the per capita income.

  5. It may be true that Nigeria is the top most destination of high end phones, PDA and Tablet. Phones for some Nigerian is a symbol of status especially among the middle class. Also there is a section of our society whose office is on phones (Y Boys) so they cannot afford to use chinko phones or low end ones.
    The majority may settle for low end phones due to their low income. But it may be true that sales of high end Phone is on the rise too. We should not forget ladies too who are beneficiary of high end phone from men. Also our government also distribute phone to their constituency.

  6. Do you blame them for such misleading statistics?. Lazy research methodology abounds in Nigeria any wonder why statistics are churned out which can not be validated

  7. Any statics that does not include Tecno is blah. just check people with phones.every 3 Nigerians with two mobile phones,one has a tecno phone,smart or dumb,that is if you say a phone with TV an microwave-as said by my Arewa brother is dumb.

  8. . I know guys at Samsung keep records of all phones
    sold by shop owners (in major markets) across the
    nation. That may give a better result as regards
    phone sales in the country.

    That may not be all encompassing enough, and can only give us the trend on SAMSUNG smartphone adoption ALONE.

  9. This post just highlights the serious challenge we have in gathering data in this country not just for mobiles but in every area. We cant every agree on national census figures.

  10. That list cannot be close to the truth at all .
    It’s absolute rubbish.


  11. Very much on point. There just is no way smartphones will be outselling dumb phones and all those Chinese brands.

  12. Lol! I was just about to castigate you about your data before I saw your actual review. Bold 9900 is one the highest selling phones in Nigeria? You gotta be kidding me. We are supposed to have about 100million active mobile lines in Nigeria. Please what happened to the “Torchlight” Nokia Phones?

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