Recent years Chines brands have crushed their presence in the local market with low-cost, medium and high-end smartphones, providing customers with a wide range of internet-enabled devices. Mobile phone usage has rapidly grown in the country as the devices gradually become more affordable.
The KNBS data shows that Kenya’s total imports from China grew to Sh295 billion in the first 11 months of last year, up from Sh222 billion in 2014 with a higher percent being smartphones. Also data shows that Sh15.5 billion worth of Chinese phones were shipped into the country in the last year in November.
The rising Internet usage to connect on social media, growth of app based services and the penetration of internet in the country has also driven the high demand for smartphones. The total number of mobile Internet subscriptions grew to more than 21 million last year, up from 14 million a year earlier.
Chinese budget smartphones range between Sh5, 000 and Sh20, 000, where 66% of the country occupied by the youth and 46% are unemployed hence many will go for chines smartphone where their budged range. Hong Kong-based Infinix, for instance, has sold more than 500,000 units since entering the Kenyan market in 2014, riding on e-commerce to cut distribution costs and enabling lower prices. .The entry of Techno, Huawei, Lenovo, Oppo and Infinix into Kenyan market has exerted downward pressure on smartphone prices in a market teeming.
Mobile handsets top the list of items that traders ordered from China last year, underlining the popularity of the low-priced smartphones in the Kenyan market despite concerns over quality. Many will have to go for them because they offer same spec with leading smartphone brands like iPhone and Samsung.
Chines phones have fancy features like dual lenses at the back camera for sharper pictures, unibody metal design and fingerprint sensor. Also, they offer’s long lasting batteries which deliver up to 24 hours of talk-time and standby time of up to 250 hours.