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French smartphone firm to enter Kenya market

French smartphone manufacturer, Wiko Mobile, is
French smartphone manufacturer, Wiko Mobile, is eyeing the Kenyan market. PHOTO | FILE  

French smartphone manufacturer, Wiko Mobile, is eyeing the Kenyan market as part of an Africa-entry strategy to boost its sales. Wiko, which is majority-owned by Chinese technology group Tinno Mobile, manufactures its phones in China.
The firm which started its operations in France nearly four years ago said on Friday that it is seeking a share of the Kenyan smartphones market in addition to Nigeria.

“We will be launching the Nairobi outlet this Wednesday  as part of a wider access to the East Africa market. Mobile phone consumption in Kenya is very rich scaled by the growing economy of the country,” said John Mutwiri, the Wiko Mobile country manager in a phone interview.
He did not disclose the expected capital expenditure on the entry including the accompanying workforce plus the intended distribution strategy. David Garcia, the head of international development at Wiko, said the firm is seeking to enter the Kenyan market by introducing competitive prices on its Android phones.
“Wiko delivers style and quality at the best price. We are excited about entering our new markets like Nigeria, Kenya, Poland, the United Arab Emirates and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and are confident of repeating our success story in these markets” said Mr Garcia in a statement.

The company is seeking to unveil its brands in countries where inroads have already been made by Chinese manufacturers such as Huawei and ZTE, to bring down the price of smartphones as it increases its footprint in a competitive sector already dominated by established players like Samsung and Nokia.
Chinese telecommunication firm ZTE early this year introduced a variety of smartphones that include the Nubian mini, ZTE bladeL2, and blade c2 among others.
TECNO, which is also a Chinese mobile phone maker, has made notable gains in the local market coming up with smartphones brands targeted at rivals Samsung, LG and Nokia at a lower prices.

Wiko controls eight per cent of the French market, according to the Financial Times newspaper quoting a report by Kantar Worldpanel ComTech.

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