There is a little-known player on the mobile phone scene in Nigeria, rarely seen and often loathed simply known as Tecno. They seem to be in it for the long haul, not just Nigeria but in Africa as a whole. They are not only pros at the dual-sim phone but also produce Android phones at affordable prices, such as the Tecno F7 (Phantom A1), Tecno N7, Tecno Q1 to name a few. As a result, they are starting to build a small but steadily growing fan base. Looking at these phones, we see the re-branding being done on their products moving them from the clunky Chinese phones overloaded with every single function that can fit on them to amazing Android phones.
I have noticed people being ashamed to buy and use their Tecno phones in public for fear of ridicule. Let me insert a quick reminder, the much loved Samsung and HTC brands were once in similar shoes and not deemed praiseworthy, look at where they are now. Tecno Mobile is following in their shoes as it attempts to enter the market with strong offerings. Something I have come across time and time again here in Nigeria is, everyone wants to be associated with expensive goods even when there is an equally good substitute which is much cheaper and does the job just as well.
Looking at the current offerings on ground, and dismissing Tecno simply for being Chinese would be a mistake. Samsung is a Korean company and assembles some of its parts in China, Apple assembles a core of its products in China and HTC is a Taiwanese company (all on the Asian Continent). At the moment, Tecno lacks OTA updates for their Android phones and suffer from an inability to upgrade the inbuilt operating system and I admit that this is a major deficiency, but I believe this will be sorted soon. The 2013 flagship device, the Tecno F7 is billed to have this corrected and more.
I came across the Tecno F7 recently in a mobile store and I was extremely shocked when I turned the phone over to see the Tecno logo. After testing its features, I moved from shocked to excited. I’ll admit that Tecno Mobile still has a lot of things to catch up on, and needs to learn from its fellow Chinese contemporaries like Lenovo and Hauwei, but they seem to be headed in the right direction.
A company not in the right direction in terms of Innovation will be unable to convince Michael Essien (Ghana/Chelsea Fc footballer) to be one of it’s brand ambassadors in Ghana.
I’ll drop a little confession on here, I don’t use a Tecno phone, but I’d trade my current phone for the “chinko” Tecnos on the market be it the F7, N7 or N3 in a heartbeat. So I’ll end by saying that if you’ve currently got a Tecno phone, be sure to rock it with pride, and if you can’t, please send it my way.
Written by Tega. Follow on twitter @StamfordGeezer