A quarter of Zimbabweans are using ‘Unknown’ imitation smartphones


A whopping 24.83% of Zimbabweans are enjoying their window to the digital space through ‘unknown’ imitation smartphones making up the second largest chunk of mobile and tablet vendor market share in Zimbabwe.

The most popular brand of smartphones and tablets is currently Samsung and surprisingly third place is Nokia pulling strong at 11.04% which means there are still quite a number of loyalists holding on to their Symbian and early iterations of lumia devices.


However it is not looking well at all for a number of mainstream manufacturers that are trailing behind owing to the generic devices whose popularity is mainly centred on being very similar to flagships in appearance and costing much much less.

For comparison Zimbabwe is third when it comes to the highest market share of ‘Unknown’ generic smartphones only bested by Swaziland and Malawi. Take a look at the charts below.

24.83% is a huge share that smartphone vendors operating locally are missing out on as well as other vendors like Nokia who have not yet set sights for Africa but from the stats it shows they still have a healthy fan base. One major business that is booming is the smartphone resale and refurbishment.

It would be brilliant if Samsung Zimbabwe, Huawei Zimbabwe or ZTE Zimbabwe would offer the service of trading in your old smartphone for a newer model and only have to pay a small fee.

It’s a healthy business that is popular at the former Ximex Mall and Zimpost Mall and something that can bump up sales for these vendors.

Quick NetOne, Telecel, Africom, And Econet Airtime Recharge

If anything goes wrong, click here to enter your query.

5 thoughts on “A quarter of Zimbabweans are using ‘Unknown’ imitation smartphones

  1. “… ‘unknown’ imitation smartphones …”

    I feel that is wrong categorising. All mobile phones are made from established international standards and components. As long as a mobile phone meet those standards l do not see any imitation about it. Just because a brand is not well known doesnt mean it have to be labelled as an imitation.

  2. Just because they’re not Samsung, Apple or the other older brands doesn’t mean that the manufacturers are not legitimate vendors or that the phones are bad. There are now literally hundreds of smartphone manufacturers mostly based in Asia. It actually just confirms the trend that smartphones are now just basic commodities. Easy to make and cheap to buy. That should have been the angle of this article.

  3. Well, unkwown is not bad e.g. I like to browse the web in incognito mode. As long as the specs are good – lets run with it

  4. My understanding of “unknown”, with respect to device statistics, even from the Google Analytics, is that they failed to identify the device. It neither means that it is generic, nor that it is an imitation. For example, if these statistics were harvested from mobile browser user-agents, not all browsers send out the device model, but will only identify themselves as a mobile browser, this could be intentional by the browser app (for security) or by inadequate programming. It’s an app related issue, not a phone issue. The stock browsers on mobile phones, especially the older models are prone to these problems.

  5. How do you classify mobile devices with for example IMEI number like 123456789ABCDEF and MAC ID that you cant identify the manufacturer?

Comments are closed.