Chinese firm Transsion Holdings is the Kenyan market leader in the number of mobile phones sold.
Three of its brands including Tecno, itel, and Infinix are among the top five devices by sales in the country, a survey by Consumer Insight shows.
In the survey dubbed Wakenya, the three brands accounted for 54 percent of phones owned by Kenyans. In 2016 two of the Chinese brands — Tecno and itel — held a 34 percent share of the market.
Of the respondents in the latest survey, 28 percent owned a Tecno phone, 16 percent a Samsung, 12 percent a Nokia and 10 percent an Infinix.
In a separate marketplace report, Jumia indicated that Kenya leads globally in the share of Internet traffic through mobile phones overtaking Nigeria, which was at the top in 2017.
The Jumia report further indicated that the high mobile penetration has been driven by the entry of aggressive firms such as Hong Kong-based Transsion Holdings.
Transsion, which has a presence in India, is also the largest smartphone company by sales in Africa. Its brands include Tecno and Infinix which dominate the smartphone segment, while Tecno and itel lead the feature phone segment.
According to Jumia Kenya, Transsion continued to hold the top spot during the fourth quarter of 2017 in a report released by International Data Corporation (IDC) as the biggest smartphone and feature phone vendor in Kenya with a 58 per cent and 63 per cent market share respectively. Finnish Nokia, now produced by HMD, has maintained a presence in the market despite the change of ownership.
South Korean brands Samsung and LG, as well as Finnish brand Nokia and China’s Huawei are struggling from the onslaught of the Chinese brands offering more affordable devices with high-end specifications.
The consumer research firm surveyed over 3,600 respondents, in rural and urban areas of 16 counties, aged 13 years and above. They were engaged through face-to-face interviews.