The impending switch-off of fake and substandard mobile phones is sending shockwaves to dealers who have resorted to the wait-and-see-approach, resulting into am increase in prices of original handsets.
A survey by BusinessWeek at major mobile phone shops at Kariakoo has established that prices of handsets range from Sh100, 000 to Sh1.5 million, depending on the type of phone and the manufacturer.
Prices of other phones range from Sh25,000 to Sh70,000.
However, as the June 16, 2016 approaches and all fake and substandard handsets will be switched off, dealers’ stocks of mobile phones are decreasing, sending prices of original ones up.
Until earlier this week, an original handset that fetched as low as Sh25,000 has gone up to between Sh35,000 and Sh50, 000. The phones in this category include Samsung duos 310, Tecno T483 and Nokia 108.
There is also Nokia 2250 which has gone up from Sh80, 000 to Sh130, 000.
This was the situation that a resident of Vingunguti in Dar es Salaam, Mr Abdallah Salehe, found himself in when he went to buy a new handset that was similar to the one that he had just lost last week. He bought a phone for Sh35,000 two months ago but when he went to buy a similar one last week, he was offered a new price of Sh45,000.
“Frankly speaking, the price of original phones has gone up gradually after the Tanzania Communication and Regulatory Authority (TCRA) announced to ban fake phones come June 16, 2016,” said Dotinata Joseph, who sells mobile phones at KZG Shop that is found at Kariakoo.
Helen Maziga, who is a sells similar items at Kariakoo’s Gedo General Mobile Company concurred with Ms Dotinata, noting that while the move to switch-off all counterfeit mobile handsets is well intentioned, it has created confusions among buyers.
She said most buyers have lost hope about the authenticity of some of the phones available in the market. “People get scared to buy mobile phones because some of them fail to identify which one is fake and what is original,” Ms Helen said.
Kenya and Uganda embarked on a move to switch fake mobile phones in 2012, forcing traders of such products to find a new home in Tanzania.
Tanzania embarked on the exercise to switch off substandard or fake mobile phones following the launch of the Central Equipment Identification Register (CEIR) which is expected to upgrade security of phones.
CEIR intends to ensure safety for users when using mobile communications accessories including mobile phones and tablets. Also the establishment was part of implementation of the Electronic and Postal and Communications Act of 2010.
After June this year all fake and substandard or stolen communications accessories and mobile phones that will remain in the market will be no longer able to work.
Credit: All Africa