Huawei’s popular $100 Android Smartphone, Ideos has been a hit in Kenya quickly becoming a best seller after launching less than a year ago. For the first quater of this year, it was the most popular smart phone in Kenya beating previous favorites such as the Blackberry and the iPhone. Read this post to learn more about how well the Ideos did in Kenya this year.
The Ideos’ advantages are glaring. It is very affordable and in a region like Africa where earnings by citizens are so low, this is a massive attraction.
In terms of features, the phone runs on Android 2.2 with a touch screen, has up to 16GB storage and has the ability to be transformed into a 3G Wi-Fi hostpot that can connect up to 8 devices.
Hearing about Huawei’s success with marketing the phone in Kenya begs the question, will it do well in other African markets? With such fast acquisition rates, it could easily be the catalyst for promoting wide spread adoption of smart phones in other parts of Africa. Currently low end and feature phones are prevalent among majority of Africans. However, the affordability of the Ideos and its ability to provide previous low end phone users with access to the Internet could make a world of difference in boosting Internet penetration rates in many countries in Africa.
A key market of course is Nigeria. With over 83 million cellular phone subscribers (according to the Nigerian Communications Commission, the NCC), Nigeria is an attractive market for testing the impact a phone like the Ideos can make in increasing smart phone penetration rates. If current low end phone users in Nigeria can purchase the Ideos, mobile Internet penetration rates have the potential of skyrocketing, thus further positioning the country as a prominent player in the African Internet space.
However, phones like the Blackberry have quickly become a favorite amongst Nigeria’s young people and is an instant class symbol. It has aspirational value making it the object of envy to other young people who don’t own one. Even Nollywood has cashed into the craze for the Blackberry through its movie, “Blackberry Babes.” You can watch snippets here.
Will the Ideos do well in Nigeria? For instance, would its affordability advantage persuade young people with the aspirations of getting a blackberry in a sense, “settle” for it instead, if it is launched in Nigeria?
Share your thoughts in the comment section.