6 more interesting insights into Nigeria’s smartphone market (2015)

Last month, we published an article investigating what the top selling phones in Nigeria are. In that piece, I mentioned that a companion article was to follow; as the quest leads to finding other useful information that will hopefully interest our readers. The main goal of this article is to focus on these other views gotten from the marketplace during the inquiry.

smartphones nigeria

Below are a number which I think will interest you:

1. A lot of phone retailers, when given the opportunity to prescribe a phone to a customer, will mostly pick a device running the Android operating system. Part of the reasons they do this is as a result of the numerous devices produced by various OEMs in the Nigerian marketplace. The operating system also being open and one mainly chosen by the Chinese manufacturers which are currently very relevant – mainly because of their cheaper prices – is another reason why.

2. Older Blackberry OS 7 devices still manage to maintain a demand in the marketplace (especially for those shopping for a used device). I found the reasons for this include the fact that they are cheaper than the Blackberry 10 counterparts. Furthermore, even more importantly, the availability of cheap data subscription rates for these kind of devices is a pivotal factor that influences the customers buying decision.

3. The Infinix Zero, the only device from that manufacturer which made the top selling list, was in demand for a number of reasons, which include – it’s attractive pricing, decent build, decent camera and ultimately the Jumia advertisements. According to sellers which I spoke with, the Jumia endorsement helped propel sales a lot. Not all Infinix Zero owners bought their unit from the Nigerian online shop, but it gave the device more mind share with consumers.

4. Apparently, BlackBerry is reaching their intended target market with the Passport around these parts. According to a number of sellers and sales representatives I spoke with, the device’s usual buyers’ are of the corporate pedigree – like bankers, doctors, even military personnel. However one thing I found surprising was that they mentioned that these were not previous Blackberry phone owners. It’s baffling because they mainly agree that Blackberry, at the time of inquiry, was slowly fading away from the market. However, devices from the Canadian manufacturer still prove to be in high demand in the second hand/used phone segment. So much that a number of used phones sellers described the Z10 as ‘hot cake’.

5. The iPhone 5 and 5s still move a decent amount till date. However, that’s not the fate of the 5c in these parts. Apparently, the phone was so not in demand that it’s price dropped to the 60 thousand naira range. I’m guessing people around these parts don’t want to see their Apple smartphones in plastic housings. This is my guess because a number of sellers indicated that the normal iPhone buyer purchases due to trend factor, and the fact that the device maintains decent second hand value – trade factor. In addition, they pointed out that most of these buyers didn’t care much about getting optimal use from the device. Perhaps Apple should leave the plastic/polycarbonate housing to the Lumia range of devices.

6. Speaking of Lumia phones – if you’re in the habit of trading in your phones regularly, then you should probably stay away from them – because of their poorer second hand value when compared to the likes of iPhones and even Blackberry phones, around these parts. According to the marketplace, another brand that has poor second hand value, happens to be TECNO.

These are just some of the views I got from the marketplace when I embarked on the quest to find the top selling phones in Nigeria. Does any of these seem out of place to you? Are you as surprised as I was to find out about some of them? Please share your views with us through the comments section. We always love to hear from you!

IB 'Hi Beezle' Sam-Epelle is passionate about smartphones and mobile technology; a solution provider; critical thinker; entrepreneur; the founder, Grand-Monumental Ink.

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