Electronics manufacturer Samsung has changed gears in its strategy for the Kenyan market with the launch of an entry level smartphone.
Samsung on Thursday officially launched the Z series device in Kenya, available for sale through Safaricom and its dealer network.
The device, retailing for Sh5,999, is targeting first time smartphone owners who are making the shift from feature phones.
“A big percentage of consumers are still on feature phones. We are targeting those that are looking to upscale their phone at an affordable cost,” said Simon Kariithi, the business lead IT and mobile division for Samsung East Africa.
The device maker has been dominant in the high and mid-range market with the Galaxy A and J series but remained dormant on the entry level.
The lapse in producing entry level devices by larger manufacturers including Samsung, Huawei and Microsoft created opportunity for Chinese companies to capture the lion’s share of the segment.
Firmed their presence
“It is a segment where our devices have been struggling because they are well above the Sh5,000 range,” said Mr Kariithi.
Tecno and Infinix have dominated the entry level smartphone segment with their devices retailing from as low as Sh5,000.
Official data shows that Chinese phones worth Sh15.5 billion were shipped into the country into Kenya in the year to November.
Chinese brands have in recent years firmed their presence in the local market with low-cost, medium and high-end smartphones providing consumers with a wide range of Internet-enabled devices.
Samsung Z2 is also the first smartphone available in the local market that is running on a Tizen operating system instead of the conventional Android system.
Samsung has been using Tizen in other devices including wearables and smart TVs and is now intergrating the system to phones.
The device maker is targeting users at the entry level due to the high probability of them upgrading to the next Tizen device rather than converting existing Android users to the platform.
The Z2 is equipped with a 4-inch screen and an internal 8GB memory. It also comes fitted with a 5-mega-pixel back camera and VGA (equivalent to 0.3 mega pixels) front camera. The device is 4G enabled with the option of downgrading to 2G or 3G.
Credit: Business Daily