China’s most successful cellphone maker, Xiaomi will be launching in Africa come September 2105. Xiaomi’s move to set up base in Africa has been prompted by the fact that the Continent has a fast growing mobile phones market; a growth that has been steadily rising in the last five years. It is said that for the Q1 of 2015, the number of smartphones across the continent grew by 47%.
Xiaomi has been referred to at ‘the Apple of China’ and has been aggressively marketing its products in China, leading to it claiming the number one cellphone maker in the country. Xiaomi ousted Apple as the leading cellphone seller in China, with its slickly-designed handsets running on Android OS. The company’s mode of operation that has made it more successful than Apple in China, is its ability to sell handsets with top-tier components at a cheaper price since it reduces the hardware profit margins.
Much of Xiaomi’s profits is said to come from its apps and games store. When you look at it now, you won’t believe the company came into existence just five years ago and meteorically rose to oust even Apple and Samsung in China. The company’s Founder and CEO Lei Jun is looked at as a rock-star entrepreneur within the Asia markets. Early this year, he unveiled the company’s plan to enter the also fast-growing Indian market and now it has its eyes set for the equally fast-growing African market.
For the African market, Xiaomi has appointed Mobile in Africa Limited as its official distributor across the 50 countries on the continent. A company whose president is the seasoned tech entrepreneur RJ van Spaandonk, a recently former executive director at Core Group; a South African-based company tasked with the distribution of Apple’s products across 14 sub-Sahara African countries.
As cited by Forbes, Van Spaandonk had the following to say about Xiamoi’s move into the African market: “I think Xiaomi is currently the one of the most exciting mobile internet brands. It is very well suited to the needs and income levels of the emerging middle classes in Africa. There is a great need for mobile technology in Africa that is of top-notch quality but still affordable. What I found in Xiaomi is a company, and a business model, that can accommodate the needs of African consumers.
Mobile in Africa is also launching online stores across 14 countries in Africa that works in almost the same way Xiaomi runs its online stores back in China.
“The brand is a mobile internet company. It has made its name selling directly to the public through online channels. We will try and replicate that as much as possible in Africa,” further added Van Spaandonk. “What attracts me to the Xiamoi’s Mi brand is that they produce the highest quality product with the best available parts at the lowest possible price. For which there is an immense demand in Africa.