Samsung, Nokia battle for smartphone supremacy in Kenya
Posted Friday, July 6 2012 at 12:07
Samsung officially launched in Kenya its latest smart phone in the Galaxy series, SIII as Nokia unveiled a ‘musical’ competition to attract the youth to its latest Asha range of smartphones.
Samsung is taking on the iPhone head on in a bid to gain a bigger share of the high-end smart phone market but seemingly Nokia is shifting gear to attract the youthful mass market in the region.
Kenya is the second country in Africa where Samsung has launched the SIII smartphone, two weeks after South Africa.
As Samsung remains keen on the high-end market, Nokia is shifting gear to tap the mass market with its low cost trendy smartphones.
In an interview, Nokia East Africa General Manager, Bruce Howe said competitors should not rule out Nokia from the East African smartphone market and ‘the company has laid out strategy to tap the youthful mass market.’
Apparently Nokia is now targeting the youth with low-end smartphones as it battles to regain the market it has lost to competitors including Samsung and iPhone maker, Apple.
“The smartphone market in East Africa is booming and we are keen to meet the expectations of our consumers…we are still by far the preferred brand,” said Mr Howe.
Mr Howe said Nokia is keen to tap into the youthful market is part of its strategy to grow market share and regain lost ground in the smartphone sub sector but will still aim to serve the high-end market. He pointed out the new 41 megapixel camera Nokia 808 (pure view) which was launched at this year’s mobile world congress.
He said the youths are keen to get the best out of smartphones but since they have little disposable income, they are looking for affordability and that is what is informing Nokia’s shift in strategy.
Nokia partnership with Microsoft in 2011 was largely successful and its smartphone, Lumia, seems to have been well received, particularly in the US. However statistics show that Windows Phones are still accounting for less than five per cent of smartphone sales worldwide.
Battle with counterfeits
He said Nokia is working closely with Communication Commission of Kenya to eradicate the counterfeit menace which has extensively hurt Nokia’s brands in the region.
He supported Kenya’s move to switch off counterfeit phones before end of this year saying that would help consumers enjoy the capabilities of genuine handsets.