Huawei changes tac­tics in Kenya

The Herald (South Africa) - - BUSINESS -

CHINA’S Huawei Tech­nolo­gies has changed its strat­egy in Kenya this month to show­case an af­ford­able range of smart­phones, hop­ing in­creased sales will boost its do­mes­tic mar­ket share, the com­pany’s coun­try man­ager said yes­ter­day.

Huawei is ranked No 3 in the fast-grow­ing Kenyan smart­phone mar­ket, be­hind South Korea’s Sam­sung Elec­tron­ics and Tecno, owned by Hong Kong’s Trans­sion Hold­ings.

Huawei Kenya head Derek Du said the com­pany had started of­fer­ing three smart­phones with re­tail prices start­ing at 8 999 Kenya shillings (R1 151) to 22 999 shillings (R2 942), as part of a strat­egy to lift its mar­ket share in that seg­ment from 4% to 15%.

“We did not pay at­ten­tion to the mod­els be­low $200 [R2 630], but this year we are chang­ing the strat­egy to fo­cus on both,” he said.

Sa­fari­com, the big­gest op­er­a­tor with 72% mar­ket share – or 28 mil­lion Kenyan users – said there were 13 mil­lion smart­phones on its net­work, up from 10 mil­lion last year.

Con­sumers have been giv­ing up their worn cell­phones to take ad­van­tage of rel­a­tively fast in­ter­net speeds and ap­pli­ca­tions like What­sApp and those that fa­cil­i­tate bank­ing and taxi-hail­ing ser­vices.

Du said: “The $100 to $200 [R1 316 to R2 632] range is the key part we can play.

“If we can bring it up, it means we will bring up the whole mar­ket share which will help the firm to boost its over­all mar­ket share.”

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