Here's why, MTN mobile africa failed to beat china smartphones.


You may probably never heard of MTN mobiles unless you're from a country in Africa even though MTN is Africa and 8th largest mobile operator in world that also runs services in Iran banned by America yet MTN was unable to compete with china mobile companies in Africa just like india mobiles companies.

In india, china companies like Xiaomi put india's big mobile companies like Reliance, Micromax, Karbonn, Celkon, etc out of league with it's low price budget smartphones that are more value for money then indian mobiles and smartphones which is why almost all people prefer and buy china smartphones just like that in Africa countries people like to buy china and foriegn country low price value for money smartphones.

Africa is continent with hundreds of countries but still they are bit backward interms of technology for instance few decades back in Africa countries most people don't have mobiles but companies like MTN released mobile network for African people so that they can easily communicate each other.

MTN formerly known as M-Cell founded in year 1995 with assistance from South Africa government since then MTN providing mobile and broadband services to many African countries especially in Nigeria and Uganda they are south africa's second network to launch 4G LTE services in year 2011 and first network to launch 5G operations on June 30, 2020.

However, MTN not just provide mobile and broadband services to use them they also manufacture and release keypad mobile phones which used to have big market in African countries with it's success MTN expanded its keypad mobiles to Asian countries mainly focusing in india that competed with indian and foriegn keypad mobiles like Nokia, Samsung, Micromax, Reliance, Karbonn etc.


But, now no one know MTN keypad mobiles in india even in south africa MTN keypad mobiles don't have large market as most people in south africa shifted to advanced and powerful smartphones that are better then keypad mobiles from china mobile companies like Tecno, Itel, Infinix.

In year 2007, Apple founder steve jobs launched iPhone 1 a multi-touch screen mobile known as smartphone since then numerous companies around the world especially samsung started making thier own smartphones to increase and expand market for smartphones but MTN didn't get into smartphones.


There are many similarities between Reliance and MTN both are largest mobile network companies in thier respective countries but for whatever reason they didn't manufactured smartphones and when they finally launched thier own smartphones partnering with other companies they didn't received much response as smartphones released by them has basic features at much higher price then china smartphones.


China mobile companies not just have strong foothold in india they even setup several mobile manufacturing plants and imported amazing low price smartphones to digitalize African countries as a decade back African country people depended on keypad mobiles even though there are alot of smartphones but they are expensive so many people in Africa unable to buy them.

The average income of 85% African people per day is below 5$ so they were unable to buy expensive smartphones but since china companies like Tecno, Itel, Infinix started releasing budget value for money smartphones under 50$ and 100$ most African people saved money to buy them due to that in Africa atleast one in family has own smartphone.

Recently, MTN partnered with Kai OS and released world's first 3G feature phone at 20 to 25$ price named MTN Smart while Reliance is pretty fast they released 4G feature phone named JioPhone with Kai OS any how even if MTN got superb sells with Smart feature keypad phones still mobile market is completely dominated by modern smartphones.


So, to sustain in this modern world MTN must release thier own smartphones which has enough potential to compete with china mobile companies like Tecno, itel, Infinix etc but as MTN don't have full infrastructure to make budget low price smartphones they partnered with Itel a china mobile company to manufacture and release a smartphone named MTN Supa Kabode this year just like indian mobile companies import china smartphones to brand thier logo and sell in india.

MTN Supa Kabode is like JioPhone Next the only difference is JioPhone Next is made in partnership with Google while MTN Supa Kabode is made in partnership with itel it was priced at 99,000 UGX that's around 27$ JioPhone Next priced at 56$ including that Yello customers can get MTN Supa Kabode for almost free by paying just 20,000 UGX shillings every month for 6 months this installation facility also available with JioPhone Next starting price at 1,999 inr which is around 25.30$.

Even though, MTN Supa Kabode has safisfiable features considering the price like 4G LTE, 5.5 inch display, Android 9.0, 5MP rear camera, 2MP back camera, 16 GB ROM, 1GB RAM, 2000 mah battery etc but that features are not enough now a days so almost all people buying china smartphones at double the price of MTN Supa Kabode unless they are very tight on budget or use that as spare device.

In sense, MTN Supa Kabode has outdated hardware that doesn't have potential to adapt according to modern usage patterns of 21th century as MTN smartphones don't have powerful and advanced features they are struggling to grasp organic attention from people and due to lack of global advertising and promotions most people worldwide don't know about MTN except in Africa that can decrease product sells.

MTN sponsered some football teams like Machester United F.C few years back but at present they are not active which is another reason MTN is behind to china mobile companies who do extensive advertising, marketing and sponsorships with global celebrities and sport teams in many countries with potential value for money smartphones for instance Tecno recently partnered with global Captain America fame Chris Evans to reach and sell smartphones world wide.

Even if MTN do extensive marketing still it won't work as at present there is no value for money smartphones available with them but MTN has potential setup thier own infrastructure to make smartphones like Reliance industries and Micromax mobile of India yet MTN didn't build any factories instead they partnered with china mobile companies.


The partnership of MTN with itel is smart move but being one of the largest network company and depending on china mobile companies to make smartphones is not good for future of thier company they have to make plans to manufacture low price budget smartphones independently then only they can transform african countries and improve it's economy.

It is well known fact most African countries are poor and they didn't have advanced technologies so if MTN become self reliant to fully develop smartphone parts then it will create new technologies and more factories will be available that will increase employment in South Africa and other African countries which will bring global investments and positively increase African countries economy.

The situation of MTN is like Reliance and Micromax indian mobile companies they have enough money to setup complete infrastructure and develop smartphones but they are stepping back as even if they manufacture full smartphones in india still they may unable to provide smartphones at cheap price like china companies due to many reasons mainy labour costs in india are much higher then in china.

MTN don't have any problem with labour costs as employment rate of South Africa is much lower then china but still even if MTN setup infrastructure to make thier own smartphones yet at present MTN can't compete with china smartphones as china companies can make or import any smartphone parts at very low price thanks to thier resources and best competition among china companies.

Smartphone parts are available for very low price in china because of thier advanced technologies and network of companies which is why most mobile companies in the world including Apple Import and assemble thier smartphone parts in china instead of thier country 


If Apple creator of smartphones from developed country United States itself import and assemble smartphone parts in china to save costs then MTN may take atleast few decades to manufacture thier own smartphones like china companies as right now it's near to impossible task for MTN to make low price smartphones like china mobile companies.

Almost all Indian mobile companies like Reliance are in same position of MTN and other African mobile companies but fortunately they have money so if MTN and Reliance or Micromax partner to make smartphones then for sure if not today they can make smartphones which can give edge to edge competition to china smartphones interms of pricing and features in future for sure.






Currently, MTN is making profits on it's mobile network and feature phones like Reliance in india being network operator is profitable but MTN struggling to provide mobile network at full speed as this year they had poor internet connection through out country and cause is unknown while profits on keypad mobile won't work long which they understood already that's why MTN releasing low range smartphones.

Anyhow, smartphones are better then keypad mobiles mobiles that completely revolutionized and transformed people with it's futuristic technologies through it you can access digital technology like PC while smartphones are user friendly then PC as you can move them anywhere you like even though the early smartphones are not powerful enough to compare with PCs but now companies making advanced and powerful smartphones according to latest people usages and technologies.

Now a days we have smartphones that can do almost all tasks of PC in it's own way with powerful hardware and advanced software because of commercial aspects of mobile companies yet smartphones still didn't reached the level of PCs as on PC's you can easily change hardware like RAM, ROM, graphic cards etc to make it better and powerful then before which is not possible in smartphones right now.

Capitalism, made mobile companies to compete with each other that eventually leaded to low price value for money high quality smartphones with big storage and memory etc for various uses now mobile companies are in race against each other to first upgrade features of smartphones then others that will improve technology and help mankind immensely further.

When people around the world going after powerful and advanced smarphones with big storage, memory and battery capacity etc mean while MTN making smartphones with 2000 mah battery capacity that to in partnership with china mobile companies which only work for few hours considering modern apps with heavy resources that's why people not buying MTN smartphones.

If MTN want success in Africa and around the world they have to make smartphones like china mobile companies on thier own or in partnership with china or india mobile companies if they're unable to that then atleast import best budget smartphones from china companies then brand thier logo to sell in Africa countries like indian indian mobile companies which will spike brand recognition and give profits else it is hard to win against china smartphones.

There is another way as we all know MTN like indian mobile companies was unable to make low price hardware to compete with china mobile companies so if MTN smartly focus and develop software like Android a mobile operating system from search engine giant Google which powers 90% of smartphones including MTN Supa Kabode then global mobile companies in the world will install MTN mobile operating system on thier smartphones if that was better then Android OS.

It is very hard for MTN to make free and open source mobile operating system like Android that gone through more then decade of updates and upgrades but if MTN somehow manage to develop better mobile operating system then Google's Android it will put MTN in top global companies list and MTN mobile operating system will also used by china mobile companies on their smartphones which is an hard dream that's isn't impossible.

The probability of MTN developing a mobile operating system like Android is very low even if they done but managing and continuing it is not easy for example : Microsoft created mobile operating system Windows for its expensive smarphones that was not maintained properly like lack of apps and updates due to that people choose Android over it that eventually failed Microsoft windows and companies which used it like Nokia lumia.

PC Windows operating system is running fine with success from decades, anyway MTN have to make plans with careful strategies to reduce china smartphones presence in Africa and make better low and mid range smartphones with best value for money feature at best price then only MTN can sustain in African countries else it will become Microsoft and Nokia.

Finally, this is why MTN 8th largest network operator in the world failed to beat Tecno, itel, Infinix china smartphones in thier home country south africa and other countries, are you an existing user of MTN network or mobiles? If yes do say your experience and mention your view on why MTN unable to create powerful and advanced smarphones in our comment section below, see ya :)
Tech Tracker

I'm Mark Evans from india, I like technology and it's related fields from childhood being very passionate to read and share knowledge, I made this blog in focus of sharing technology topics In simplified manner.

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