TCL 2022

China’s TCL wants 15% of SA’s smartphone market

TCL recently launched the TCL 20 R 5G smartphone in SA.

TCL recently launched the TCL 20 R 5G smartphone in SA.

Chinese smartphone brand TCL Communications is targeting a 10%-15% market share in the highly competitive South African mobile market.

This was revealed by Ernst Wittmann, TCL Communications Regional Director for South and East Africa, in an email interview with ITWeb.

“TCL has been active in the South African market for more than 14 years, selling and marketing devices under the Alcatel brand, as well as selling white-label products under the brands of our network operator partners,” says Whitman.

Alcatel Mobile Phones was incorporated on April 24, 2004 as a joint venture between Alcatel-Lucent (45%) and TCL (55%). Alcatel originally started making mobile phones in late 1996.

In 2005, the joint venture was dissolved and Alcatel-Lucent’s 45% stake was acquired by TCL, and Alcatel Mobile Phones became a wholly owned subsidiary of TCL. Then the brand name was licensed to TCL.

Whitman believes the company can wrestle market share from established players, such as Samsung, Huawei, and Apple.

TCL also has to contend with other Chinese smartphone brands flooding the domestic market. These devices include Xiaomi, Vivo, Oppo, and others.

According to Statista, in March 2022, Samsung was the market leader with 48.12% market share of South African mobile device vendors. Huawei came in second with about 24%, followed by Apple with 16%.

While the domestic smartphone market is hotly contested, Whitman believes TCL can still penetrate the domestic market.

“We believe there is room for all players in the market. We pride ourselves on our longstanding relationships with large network operators, as well as ownership of manufacturing facilities that enable us to confidently offer great devices at attractive prices,” he says.

“We supply a range of mobile devices and would like our overall South African market share to be between 10-15%.”

TCL South Africa recently launched what it calls “one of the most affordable 5G smartphones in South Africa” ​​- the TCL 20 R 5G – which retails at R3 899.

“If you’re buying a smartphone today, you probably want it to last four to five years,” Whitman says.

“During that time, 5G will catch on and you will be able to take advantage of its faster speeds in many parts of the country. The TCL 20R 5G makes 5G affordable, so you can be ready for the future of connectivity and start enjoying faster speeds in most major cities in South Africa today” .