Egypt’s first smartphone maker is looking to enter the broader African market by the end of 2018 or early 2019 seeking to boost exports, its sales director said.
Silicon Industries Corporation (SICO), which already exports to the Gulf, aims to start selling phones in Kenya, Morocco and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Included in the list are South Africa, Nigeria, Mozambique and Ghana, Sales Director Mahmoud Ali told the Media.
“It’s a promising market and there’s much less competition than in the Gulf,” Ali said, noting there is a big demand for affordable phones in Africa.
“He said he mostly expected to sell smartphones in the 50 to 60 dollars price range to African customers outside Egypt.
SICO, which was set up last year with capital of 150 million Egyptian pounds (8.4 million dollars), sells phones under the brand name Nile X.
It said that it uses a Chinese design of 3G/4G U.S. technology.
Private investors hold 80 per cent of the company and the remaining 20 per cent is held by Egypt’s Ministry of Communication.
In 2019 the company aims to export 40 per cent of its production and keep 60 per cent local, Ali said.
It also wants to expand its market share in Egypt from 12 per cent to 15 per cent in 2019.
Ali said it was too early to set a sales target for exports to African countries, but expected to export more to customers in Africa than in the Gulf next year.
“We are still entering the market and talking to people.
“We are working with several operators and hoping that the phones will be available at their branches at the end of 2018 or early 2019’’.
The company expects to triple its total production from 500,000 units in 2018 to 1.5 million units in 2019, Ahmad el-Sawaf, SICO’s international business development manager said.
Of the 1.5 million, 900,000 would be sold in Egypt while 600,000 would be sold abroad, he added.
He said that the company targets sales of 400 million pounds this year, tripling to 1.2 billion pounds next year.
“The target for 2020 is 2.5 billion pounds, he said.
“The smartphone maker plans to introduce new phones next year, offering a total of 14 products.
“SICO currently offers six products, including smartphones and a tablet,’’ Ali said.