An obscure smartphone maker based in France has done what some feared was impossible following the sale of Nokia’s handset business: created a successful European challenger to tech giants Samsung and Apple.
Wiko is majority-owned by Chinese technology group Tinno Mobile and its phones are manufactured in China. But that fact is lost on many of the French buyers who have catapulted the brand into the top three handset vendors in the country, where it trades off its local status and “French touch”. It has also become a popular brand in Portugal and Italy.
Wiko has 8 per cent of the French market, according to Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, which measured “triple-digit growth across Europe” for the brand in the past year.
The company has plans to take the brand into countries where inroads have already been made by Chinese manufacturers such as Huawei and ZTE to bring down the price of smartphones.
It will start selling handsets in the UK this autumn, according to David Garcia, head of international development at Wiko, followed by parts of Africa such as the Ivory Coast and Senegal, the Middle East and Asian countries such as Vietnam and Thailand… see more