A few years ago, owning a smartphone was something to thump your chest about. Those days are becoming increasingly numbered
By Billy Rwothungeyo
A few years ago, owning a smartphone was something to thump your chest about. Those days are becoming increasingly numbered.
The penetration of smartphones in East Africa continues to increase as more low cost devices flood the market.
“We continue to see an upward trend in uptake of smartphones in the entire region. For example, 50% of the devices being purchased in Kenya are smartphones. In Uganda, this number is quickly rising as well,” said Lilian Nganda, Microsoft Mobile Devices East Africa’s Communications Manager.
Nganda made the remarks following the introduction of the latest Microsoft smartphone devices on the Ugandan market.
Two new Microsoft Lumia smartphones, the Microsoft Lumia 435 and Microsoft Lumia 532, are retailing for sh330,000 and sh370,000 respectively. The Lumia 435 is the cheapest Lumia smartphone to in Uganda.
Cutthroat competition is bringing down the prices of these devices. The surge in Chinese players such as Huawei, Techno, Xtouch and ZTE has been a game changer.
Besides having high-end products, Samsung, one of the major smartphones players, is also increasingly outing products for low income customers.
“The rapid increase in low-cost (less than sh296,000) consumer-centric technology such as smartphones and tablets has played a pivotal role in driving growth within Sub-Saharan Africa’s mobile market,” said Ericsson’s 2014 mobility report.
“This growth will be further driven by the increasing number of devices that cost less than USD 50 that are expected to enter the market over the coming years.”
Smartphone sales on the rise in East Africa