High-end phone firm sets aside Sh1.1bn for launch in Kenya


Upon launching next month, OPPO will distribute its phones through 20 selling points across Nairobi. PHOTO | COURTESY

A Chinese phone manufacturer planning to make its debut in Kenya next month has set aside a Sh1.1 billion budget to market its high-end smartphones.

OPPO, the leading 4G smartphone manufacturer in China, is set to launch three smartphones in Kenya on April 10, the same day Samsung will be unveiling its Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge devices.

The Chinese firm’s flagship brand—OPPO N3 — will be retailing at about Sh60,000, the OPPO R5 at about Sh48,000 while its third smartphone OPPO Neo 3 will be going for Sh13,000.

The phone company will distribute smartphones that are retailing for as much as Sh60,000, taking a stab at rivals Samsung, Apple and LG who have cemented their presence in the country.

“The OPPO N3 and R5 gadgets are high-end smartphones which are targeting the young and trendy consumers who are looking for something different from what is already in the market,” said Wayne Zheng, the marketing director for OPPO in Kenya.

“The Neo 3 is more reasonably-priced since it a phone being targeted at the mass market.”

OPPO, which has about a 7.1 per cent market share in China, is already selling its products in over 21 markets including Nigeria, Egypt, Algeria and Morocco in Africa.

The firm sells its products in countries like Indonesia, Mexico, Taiwan, Singapore, Thailand, Bangladesh, Iran and Australia among others.

Upon launching next month, OPPO will distribute its phones through 20 selling points across Nairobi following the signing of partnership deals with several retail businesses. Mr Zheng said the company is in talks with several mobile phone companies to stock them.

“Kenya is a dynamic market with consumers who are always ready to try out new products. A successful launch in Nairobi will see us spread out to the rest of the country and then to the region,” he said.

The Kenyan mobile phone market is experiencing significant activity with the latest entrant to the highly competitive landscape.

Singapore-based Obi Mobiles which launched their devices in the market this week, targets a five per cent share of the local mobile phone handsets market before December.