Wiko is one of the remaining European-origin brands, which is successful in Europe within its price segment. The company ranks sixth, overall, with a 1.8% market share in Western Europe. Wiko’s main market is France, where the brand is fourth with a 4.5% market share, according to the latest Mobile Handsets Country Database by Omdia. Another key market is Italy, and since 2018 Germany. In Germany, the brand reached 2.6% market share within two years.
Table 1: Wiko´s market share in its main markets France, Germany and Italy:
Source: Mobile Handsets Country Database, Q3 2019
Last year, Wiko expanded its business geography and signed the partnership agreement with US carriers Sprint and AT&T, providing them with customized Wiko-branded phones.
Wiko launches two View 4’s
All of Wiko’s smartphones feature dual SIM cards and large batteries. Currently, the company has two smartphone series: The View series, priced below €200 and the Y-line priced below €100.
Wiko launched two new View-series devices on February 20th: View 4 and View 4 light, priced at €169 and €128 respectively. They are entry level devices, with a focus on battery life and expandable memory capacity.
As with most entry level devices, Wiko’s View 4 series is a compromise between features and price. Compared to its predecessor, Wiko expanded battery capacity in the View 4, but sacrificed on camera hardware and fingerprint sensor. Considering current European entry phones market, Wikos´ new phones performance is matching the price and might be enough to keep the stable sales level. However, in order to grow, and especially to expand the young customers´ base, Wiko will need to work hard on the phone´s equipment in the near feature, taking into account new Chinese competitors joining the entry level smartphone market in Europe.
European success based on several factors
Competition in the entry level phone market below €200 in Europe is low, and even lower in the under €100 segment, compared to the higher priced segments. There are a handful brands such as ZTE, Nokia, Huawei and Honor, a few Samsung´s A-Series phones and some local brands. Redmi and Realme just joined the competition in Europe in this segment last year and need to get established.
Established Chinese brands like Xiaomi are leaving the lowest priced segments and move to higher priced segments. Honor and Huawei are struggling in Europe, due to the US ban and lack of Google mobile services.
This provides a new chance to a company like Wiko. To take advantage, the company relies on its established relationships with major European consumer electronic distributors like Saturn/ MediaMarkt in Germany, or Fnak in France.
Another key focus for the company is after-sales support to strengthen brand recognition by providing support usually not associated with the entry segment. To that end, Wiko has contracts with well-known local based companies for after sales service.
Wiko is adjusting their marketing campaign to regional requirements. In Germany, for example, the company is engaging government agencies to supports public-interest projects. The company is active in trying to create online fan communities, like those of other brands, to create brand loyalty and engagement. The differentiator, again, being the level of engagement and support by the company in a price segment where this is not the norm.
However, new Chinese brands, which proved their success in other regions, are approaching European market. Redmi and Realme phones usually are equipped with hardware matching higher priced devices, and Wiko will need to work hard to convince users to stay with their brand. Realme is set to expand in Europe aggressively, so the competition in the pricing segment will intensify with new competitors.