Will new itel smartphone buck the downturn trend in Africa?

Will new itel smartphone buck the downturn trend in Africa?

Consumer electronic products company itel has officially revealed what it calls its most cost-effective 4G smartphone – the A60 – as it prepares to launch the new device across Africa. 

This new member of itel's A series, positioned to be a 4G high-speed network smartphone, allows consumers to enjoy a faster and smoother browsing experience with a 6.6" HD+ Waterdrop large screen and 5000mAh high-capacity battery.

To boost the launch, itel says it has successfully established solid cooperation relationships with nine local operators in 17 African countries, including MTN, Orange, Airtel, Vodafone, AirtelTigo, Moov Africa, Telma and Movicel, to provide itel users with what it describes as more value-for-money offers and an excellent user experience in emerging markets.

It has actively organized a series of channel marketing activities to maintain client relationships and demonstrate the features of the new product. In February, more than 30 channel meetings were successfully held in 19 countries.

However, this is a challenging time for Africa’s smartphone providers. The market shrunk by 18% in 2022 compared to the previous year, according to figures from International Data Corporation (IDC) released in mid-February. The slump was driven by a reduction in consumer spending due to inflation and economic uncertainties, though admittedly this was not unique to Africa.

In total, 73.4 million units were shipped into Africa, with South Korea’s Samsung and Chinese brands Tecno and itel accounting for 65% of the total shipments.

The good news for companies aiming at the low-cost market is that devices costing less than $200 accounted for 82% of the total smartphone shipment. This may boost the chances of the A60. Admittedly, we don’t yet know its price; it is, however, inarguably getting strong promotional backing as a cost-effective option.

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