What phones are ppl buying and why

Recently in a typical phone shop in Nairobi, I checked the prices and models of mobile phones on offer. I was with Idi Juma, NairoBits gradutate, now working at 3Mice. The phones on display were divided into 4 sections:

1. Smart Phones (max 10% of the market, probably less)
2. Phones with internet connectivity (about 20% of market but growing fast)
3. Basic Phones but with FM radio and music chips (about 20% of market, young ppl)
4. Basic, sms and voice phones (50%)

If anyone has better figures I’d love to hear from you.

1. Smart phones, the most expensive, blackberry, Nokia N70 etc
You really have to be earning quite some money to pay for these,  while growing in popularity we ares till talking about max 10% of the market. We skipped this section, prices were around 30.000 ksh and up, (300 euros)

2. Phones with internet connectivity,
such as the Samsung E250 currently very popular and the Nokia 6300, one of the most popular at the moment. Apparently about 20% of the market and growing fast.

Samsung 5233, 11,999 KSH (about 110 euros)

Nokia 6300, 10,799 KSH (about 100 euros)

These are growing in popularity rapidly, it is easy to get online with Safaricom, this costs about 8ksh (8 euro cent) per 1mb. Young people like to visit Facebook, Google, BBC news and sports news sites. Laos sites where you can download games are popular.
The price is 10,799 KSh, that’s about 100 euros, the same as it costs in Amsterdam. A lot of money of course in Nairobi where a typical office job wage is about 300 to 500 euros a month (for those who have jobs) whilst people who do manual labour or have odd jobs will be lucky to earn 10,000 KSh a month.

3. Phones with FM radio and music chips, including chinese models

These types of phones with the extra feature of an FM radio and a 2GB card for loading up extra music files. They are very popular with young people. They often spend long spells in traffic or just hanging at home, so they can listen to the radio and their favourite music, it is twice the price of the most basic phone, see below, but the added advantage of radio and music. You can’t access the internet with this phone. The one in the picture is form Mi a popular Chinese model.

4. Basic phones, for text and voice, Nokia classics

As you can see this phone does all the basics and is quite a bit cheaper than the higher end models. If you earn 8000 to 10.000 ksh a month this phone is within reach. Safaricom recently launched a new ‘own brand’ phone, which is slightly cheaper than this phone and it has quite taken off amongst young people.

The reason this is interesting to our work, is knowing who has what type of machine in their pocket dictates what kinds of services and information formats we can use to reach them.

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