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TECNO lights up SA’s smartphone market with Spark 7 Series launch

Mobile smartphone brand TECNO looks set to increase competition within South Africa’s mobile device market, and the mid-to-high tier affordable multi-feature device segment, with the release of the Spark 7 series on 16 September.

The series, available for purchase in October, is targeted at a broad range of users and TECNO is confident the devices will appeal to the youth (millennials and Gen Zs) right through to corporate professional.

The Spark 7 series, aims to bridge the gap between advanced technology and the younger generation, who also generally make up the lower-income earning segment in South Africa.

Announcing the launch, TECNO said whether it is the GtG gamer, university student, digital content-creator, job-hunting candidate or start-up entrepreneur, millennials and Gen Zs are constantly on the move, and their smartphones need to keep up.

The company is running a competition to coincide with the launch.

According to information supplied, South Africans can win one of five smartphones from the Spark 7 series.

“The competition seeks to harness the users’ creative spirit, and takes the form of a challenge in which participants are asked to recreate the outline or shape of the word and number in ‘Spark 7’. Any objects found at home (or work) can be used to spell out the word and number. Once their masterpiece is completed, participants need to take a photo of their creation, share it on their Facebook pages, tag @TECNOMobileSouthAfrica and include the hashtags #AllYouNeedIsSPARK and #TECNOMobileZA in their post.”

Entrants are also required to follow the TECNO Mobile Facebook page and can enter as many times as they like.

Spark 7 Pro

The flagship Spark 7 Pro, boasts a dynamic 48MP Clear Triple Camera and new Helio G80 chipset, which the company says delivers “a captivating cinematic experience through a bigger and better 6.6-inch edge-to-edge display, complete with Super Night Mode.”

The device also features G80 chip and 90Hz refresh rate to boost performance.

In addition, according to TECNO, the 5000mAh battery retains phone power for an incredible 14 days without recharging.

The device retails at between R1999 and R3499.

The Transsion-owned brand has recognised the value of marrying smartphone and camera technology ecosystems as Artificial Intelligence (AI) computing power in smartphones develops, resulting in devices that are able to produce sublime photographic and video content in tune with user preferences.

“We aim to provide the best contemporary technology in artistic designs and elegant taste. The TECNO Spark 7 series reflects our promise to millennials, Gen-Z by offering advanced technology at affordable prices,” says TECNO Mobile General Manager, Stephen Ha.

Market share

TECNO Mobile and itel Mobile say they have doubled their cumulative market share in the second quarter of 2021.

The brands reference research from Counterpoint Technology Market Research’s Market Pulse service shows the brands grew from 16% to 32% in the second quarter as they continued to take aim at- and entrench dominance within the lower-priced segment in Africa.

In April, Counterpoint, which specialises in products in the technology, media and telecom (TMT) industry, showed that TECNO surpassed Korean giant Samsung, for handset sales in Africa in 2020, confirming its status as the number one smartphone brand on the continent.

According to TECNO, it sold more devices than Samsung in Africa in 2020 and overtook the Samsung in Q4 last year.

The brand achieved this despite a 6.7% year-on-year fall in Africa’s smartphone shipments in 2020 due to COVID-19.

For Q2 figures in the Middle East and Africa region, Counterpoint’s senior research analyst Yang Wang says that Covid-19 has helped consumers discover many practical-use cases that were not immediately obvious before the pandemic.

“Positive momentum from the end of 2020 has been maintained throughout the first half of the year, with the best Q1 and Q2 on record,” continues Wang.

Counterpoint predicts that the new features and innovations powered by AI are expected to play a more critical role for smartphone makers in differentiating their products.

Counterpoint cites the example of TECNO’s TAIVOS (TECNO AI Vision Optimisation Solution) technology – an advanced signal processing technology that interprets raw data through an AI multi-framed, portrait segmentation based on tens of millions of data points, which can filter image noise better and optimise image clarity, thereby enhancing night photography effects.

TECNO said it has been in the Africa market for a long time.

“The brand’s strength lies in its sales networks in fragmented semi-urban and rural areas, which larger competitors typically overlooked. The commercial relationships TECNO cultivates tend to be long term, resulting in goodwill from local partners and customers. Over time, TECNO’s wholesale network would become the widest, deepest and most stable sales force in Africa. These relationships have also allowed TECNO to build deep insights in customer sentiment, usage patterns and product preferences, which competitors again do not have access to without significant investment,” the company explained.

“From the distributors’ point of view, they would gain by working with TECNO as the financial incentive terms are reasonable, and they can expect solid, achievable sales overtime. This is helped by TECNO’s constant investments in marketing, such as the ubiquitous brightly coloured ads painted on buildings, large scale promotions, and endorsements by popular local celebrities – this gives consumers the impression that TECNO is always in the centre of attention, and distributors of TECNO devices would gain an edge over other brands,” it added.

TECNO attributes its strength in part to what it describes as a comprehensive after-sales repair service.

“This service improved phone durability and user experience, as well as educating customers and helping them explore other device features. Altogether the service contributes significant towards the company receiving positive feedback from customers.”

TECNO is mainly dominant in Sub-Saharan African countries, for example, Nigeria (24%), Ghana (24%), Kenya (20%) – all Q2 2021 figures.

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