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VENTURES AFRICA – World’s largest maker of personal computers, Lenovo Group has entered Nigeria smartphone market following an announcement that it will start selling a range of Smartphones in the West African country, its first across the continent.
Lenovo is entering the West African market with seven smartphone models, in a market already awash with several brands. Lenovo’s range of product includes entry-level device; A369i, A516, A680, and A859; the stylish S650 and S930; and the picture perfect and sleek Vibe X. Sales of S930 and Vibe X will begin in March.
According to the Chinese firm, Nigeria was selected as its preferred destination because, unlike South Africa, it isn’t required to partner with local telecommunications companies in order to sell its phones.
Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation with about 170 million people, has about 156 million mobile-phone subscribers as at October 2013, the Nigerian Communications Commission reported.
With number of smart phone users expected to grow to 35 million by 2017 – one of the fastest growing Smartphone market – Lenovo is looking to carve a substantial market share for itself and grow sales figures, despite its late entry into a competitive market flooded with brands such as blackberry, Samsung and Apple.
The company is positive that customers will accept its phone brands in the same way they did its PCs, which it says have a 14 percent market share in the Nigerian market.
Lenovo is rapidly shifting focus towards the mobile market, using it as a cushion for its dwindling PC sales. It has recently made various mobile-focused acquisitions including IBM’s x86 server division (ThinkPad) as well as a $2.91 billion purchase of Google’s Motorola Mobility – making it the world’s third-biggest Smartphone vendor, behind Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co.