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Global firms compete for phones market share

Phones market shareCompetition for the local smartphone market is going up as new entrants are fighting for a share of the growing revenue from the enhanced demand for data services.

Technology MNCs have been whetting their appetite for the data devices market with products from US firms Intel and Microsoft already in the local market.

Intel East Africa general manager, Dannie Steyn, said that the company was looking at deals with telecommunication companies in the region to present new model handsets that work on Intel technology.

Steyn said that they were having ongoing discussions with a number of telecommunication companies in the East African region, and more so in Kenya, to provide them with tailor-made mobile handsets for their subscribers. These were ‘reference design’ devices and they would deliver a model with certain specifications as requested by the mobile operator.

Intel had launched its first smartphone in Kenya in January in partnership with Safaricom.

Intel revealed that the Yolo phone created an unprecedented intake in the market with the first batch being sold-out in three weeks.

Last month, Microsoft launched its first mobile device in the Kenyan market mainly for app developers, university students, and first-time users.

The mobile phone, which runs on the company’s Windows Phone 8 operating system, was a custom-made version of Huawei’s Ascend W1 handset.

Speaking while launching the phone, Microsoft’s business group manager for sub-Saharan Africa, Mr. Kevin Connolly said that Africa had a need for smartphones and the time was suitable for this device to be launched in the African markets.

With the rise in competition, traditional phone manufacturers were planning new methods to retain their share in the local and regional market for Android-powered smartphones, tablets, and other data devices.

To increase their presence in East Africa, global manufacturer Alcatel One Touch launched a KSh. 3.4 billion marketing strategy last week.

Nokia has also been actively protecting its ground by launching one new phone after another that was especially designed for the youth market.

Last week Nokia announced its plan to launch Nokia Life, which was one of the most popular mobile services for high-growth markets in Kenya.

Image courtesy: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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