Buoyant Nigerian market sees 15mn handsets sold in 2009

The GfK Group has produced research on the resilience of the Nigerian market for mobile phones during the recent global financial crisis.

According to GfK, Nigeria's mobile devices market has been able to recover more quickly than many other countries around the world. Already the market back on the path to growth following the trough in January 2009. An estimated 15mn handsets have been sold between December 2008-November 2009 in the country as a whole and impressive growth has been registered, particularly in the high-end Smartphone market. Smartphones represented 19 per cent of the mobile market in 2009, compared to eight per cent the previous year.
The competition in Nigeria, the most populous African Country, has become fierce, as both operators and manufacturers hope to make in-roads into what is widely regarded as an ‘untapped, addressable market’. Even with a startling growth in teledensity* in recent years (now in excess of 50 per cent) there is still an enormous potential consumer base to be explored.
Already, both established and global manufacturers and recent entrants to the market are facing severe competition from Chinese Brands and ‘Fakes’, that have identified Nigeria as a major market and been able to entice consumers with a highly attractive combination of features at affordable prices. In 2009, Chinese Brands and Fakes captured around a quarter of the Mobile Phone Market. Dual SIM Cards for example, are one crucial feature present in many Chinese phones that has only been slowly introduced by the major international manufacturers. There are currently over 60 brands active in the Nigerian market each month, with relatively short lifecycles for both brands and models.

* The number of phones per 100 people in the region

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