Chinese phone brands are slowly taking over Kenya’s high-end market as the manufacturers unveil gadgets that click with dozens of citizens.
The market, initially in the grip of Samsung and Apple, is now dotted with Chinese phone brands as manufacturers from the Asian nation tried to seize the middle and bottom-end markets.
Recently, Chinese phone brands such as Huawei, Oppo, Lenovo, Tecno and Xiaomi are fighting it out for the east African nation’s high-end market.
The Chinese phone manufacturers, some initially associated with middle and bottom markets, have in the last months unveiled stylish gadgets that have clicked with many Kenyans.
Huawei is the latest Chinese manufacturer to unveil its high-end smartphone in Kenya as consumers’ confidence in the gadgets from the Asian nation hits a new high.
The firm on Tuesday launched its Huawei Mate 20 series in the Kenya, making the country one of the first markets in Africa after unveiling the gadgets.
The phone, according to the firm, combines high performance, longer battery life, greater camera capacity, wireless charge and supports 3D face unlock-qualities that Kenya’s savvy smartphone users look for.
The company noted that consumers’ expectations in the east African nation are fast-rising thus manufacturers must race to bring the best android smartphones to the market.
However, despite the stylish gadgets the firm unveiled, Kenyans love’s for Huawei phones is legendary with the company having been among the first ones to introduce smartphones into the east African nation market in 2010.
The IDEOs phones ended up to be the bestseller soon after its launch as the company sold some 100,000 pieces in a few days.
Last month, Oppo unveiled its OPPO A7 phone, a middle-end phone and the latest in it’s a series A phone. The gadget builds on the success of its Oppo X series that is its most expensive phone in the east African nation’s market, going for some 1,000 dollars.
Other brands including Tecno and Lenovo have similarly launched new trendy gadgets in the Kenyan market as the Chinese manufacturers cement their position in the market.
A survey in various phone outlets on Thursday in the capital Nairobi revealed that the Chinese high-end phones have taken the price of place in the various shops, especially those owned by leading telecoms Safaricom, Airtel and Telkom.
At a Safaricom and Airtel shops on Moi Avenue, arranged in glass shelves on Thursday were various versions of Huawei, Infinix and Lenovo phones that go at different prices, making one spoilt for choice.
“For a long time, I was sceptical about using Chinese the brands because of the initial perception Kenyans had about them when we were started using mobile phones,” Patrick Musasia, a banker in Nairobi, who owns a 500 dollar phone, said on Thursday.
“But problems I had with battery for another brand, not Chinese-made, made me switch to Lenovo three years ago and it remains my darling,” Musasia added.
A 2018 survey by online market firm Jumia showed that about half of Kenyans buy smartphone brands from Chinese phone makers, with Tecno and Infinix being the market leaders.
The survey noted that Chinese brands are popular in Kenya due to their inexpensive nature especially in the middle and bottom market segments.
“Kenyans are in need to stylish, unique, multifunctional and affordable smartphones and the Chinese phone makers are leading in this,” said Bernard Mwaso, a consultant with Edell IT Solutions in Nairobi.
“Having taken over the low and middle-income markets, it was just a matter of time before they dominate the top market and the rate at which the Chinese manufacturers are competing to unveil high-end phones as compared to their competitors shows they are far ahead in the Kenyan market,” Mwaso. Enditem