Mobile Phone Preference Among Nigerians: BlackBerry or Infinix?

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The Nigerian smartphone market has for long been dominated by Blackberry phones. However, in the past few years, the floor has shifted as new brands are jostling for market dominance. In order to confirm this, our team of analysts decided to perform a research on the smartphone industry in Nigeria.

Enjoy!

Using Google Trends, they tried to estimate the search volume for the most popular smartphones in Nigeria and till date (January 2016), Blackberry phones are still popular. They were shocked.

Our analysts did a quick search on Jumia (leading e-commerce site in Nigeria) to confirm their findings. The data didn’t quite correlate. Before we delve into what they saw, let’s analyze the data from Google Trends.

The most popular smartphone in Nigeria has always been the Blackberry; the youths (18-25) has played a huge part in this. The strange thing is that even after the demise of Blackberry as a global Smartphone market king, the phone still reigns in Nigeria.  The graph below shows the search volume trend for smartphone brands on Google Nigeria from the beginning of this year.

Google Trends Data

Now what?

Coming closely behind BlackBerry is Infinix. You will be wondering why not Samsung or the famous iPhone. It happened that Nigerians prefer low end smartphones and it seems Infinix has managed to provide that price range that is just sufficient to attract many Nigerian buyers. A customer once said this about the phone “…this device is great and very affordable at its price…”.

In fact, Infinix phones go for as low as 35,000Naira on most e-commerce sites. With the purchasing power of the average Nigerian getting lower, it justifies the demand for the phone.

Using search volume data from the Google Keyword Planner, we found the result a little bit different. This time Samsung and Infinix came up top; the Samsung galaxy 7 has just been released and Nigerians have a habit of searching on the latest phones even without a purchase intent. However, the Samsung Galaxy S6 showed up as the most searched Samsung phone.

 

searchvolume

Digging a little deeper, they found the states driving this craze.

infinix-region

Look at that. Sokoto is driving search volume for Infinix but when you take a closer look at the regions, the South-West easily dominates. We have States like Ondo, Oyo and Kwara driving the search volume.

It makes more sense given that most business activities in Nigeria are saturated towards the South-West with Lagos and Port-Harcourt leading the pack.

infinix-related searches

From the data above, it is obvious people want the ‘Infinix Note”. Notice we circled Jumia as a related search, indicating the search volume might be coming from Jumia. It is quite surprising to see the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 as a related search. The Galaxy note is a high end phone and one would wonder if the search queries are from the same group of users. What makes it such a beloved smart phone?

Who are those driving iPhone Search?

We tried to know where the rich iPhone users were concentrated. Bearing in mind that iPhone searches doesn’t necessarily translate into purchase. But to a large extent it indicates interest and preference. Also, since Google is the most widely used search engine, we are safe to assume people are not mostly searching from another search engine.

iphone-region

From the result above, the searches are more dispersed across the country, with the North and South both having their fair share. For Advertisers targeting iPhone customers, they might be having a tough time allocating their budget.

What happens when we search by specific device type?

This reveals that the Infinix hot note is really leading other devices by a wide margin. The iPhone 6 easily surpasses the Blackberry Q10 while the Samsung Galaxy S6 sinks into oblivion. The techno phone retains its bottom spot indicating a lack of wide appeal by Nigerians.

What this might imply is that people are searching for a wide array of BlackBerry and Samsung devices while the iPhone 6 and Infinix Hot are driving traffic for their brands. Seems people still love those old blackberries (curve bold, javelin).

volume -search specific

To understand the region driving the search for the Infinix note, they found something interesting as well.

infinix hot -region

The southern part of the country dominates once more. It is obvious that a lot is happening in the south.

How are marketers bidding for these Keywords?

We used the keyword planner tool to get insights into the competition level on these keywords:

  • iPhone 6
  • Infinix Note
  • Samsung Galaxy s6
  • Techno phone
  • Blackberry Q10

The graph below reveals the suggested cost per click for each keyword.

suggested CPC

It appears advertisers value the Blackberry Q10 higher compared to other high end phones like the iPhone. For this to be true, the search volume has to be high to justify the price. This isn’t true from the graphs above. We expect the iPhone and Samsung Galaxy to be more competitive. Our best guess is that marketers are slow to respond to change in the mobile phone trends.

How are e-commerce sites competing for keywords?

When we used the Google Keyword planner to search for the coherence between the two e-commerce giants (Jumia & Konga), what we found was chilling. Guess what? The top keyword suggestion happened to be the brand name of their major competitor (Jumia). Jumia was bidding on the keyword “Konga” and vice versa.

 

konga

Same goes for Jumia

jumia

This is possible because competition is low on brand names. The bid estimate for “Konga” is a mere $0.13. Jumia can afford to do that without feeling the itch. They can also claim it’s because they have nothing to lose. Who cares after all? Also, we found out that these brand names had the highest monthly average search volume. The table below highlights our findings.

avgmonthly

Conclusion

The Blackberry craze is still on but newer brands like Infinix are taking over the landscape.

The takeaway from this analysis is that price stills remains a huge factor in determining mobile phone preference for Nigerian consumers. Nigerians still largely prefer middle-end phones. However, they might be in market just to review high-end phones without a purchase intent.

Also, from our observation, marketers in Nigeria are slow to respond to market trends, we believe a more proactive approach will benefit them. This involves active keyword research before setting up their marketing campaigns. Marketers should me more proactive to make sure they catch up on the latest trend. This will ensure more return spent on advertisement.

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