Made-In-Nigeria Phone Has West Africa Appeal
The relatively high total cost of ownership (TCO) of mobile phones remains a major obstacl e to raising penetration levels i n emerging markets across Africa. BMI identifies the lack of engagement by local electronics manufacturers in developing own-brand handsets as well as the inability of African operators to develop relevant locally-themed content and applications as key part s of the problem . Therefore, news that a Nigerian joint venture with links to a major West African handset distributor has developed a range of low-cost feature and smartphones is welcomed for the potential it offers.
The Phone and Allied Products Dealers Association (PAPDAN) reports that the iQ and MaxTel branded handsets will initially be aimed at Nigerian consumers. However, as PAPDAN regularly sells approximately 2mn handsets an d related devices per month in several oth er West Afri can countries, BMI believes the new products are likely to find a warm welcome in other large and fast-growing mark ets such as Niger, Benin, Ghana, Guinea and Liberia. Pricing and technical specifications are yet to be revealed, but the devices are expected to go on sale before the end of 2013.
Although foreign-made handsets are in widespread use across the continent, import duties, retail sales taxes, and high licensing costs tend to keep handset TCOs beyond the reach of many potential subscribers. By manufacturing locally and exporting to neighbou ring countries with favourable bilateral trade agreements, BMI believes that several key elements of ha ndset TCO can be slashed. Furthermore, PAPDAN's links to more than 3,000 dealers across the region should ensure the devices gain high visibility with operators and retailers.
|Huge Appetite For New Handsets|
|Nigeria Annual Handset Shipments ('000)|