Mobile Trends and the Innovators, where are the masses?

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By Mwirigi

With the launch of the Android powered Huawei IDEOS in Kenya, there’s been lots of talk about an Android revolution but quite frankly , I highly doubt it.  Check,  how long will it  take before it becomes a reality on the ground?  If you are developer or innovator or entrepreneur and you want to make money now in Kenya or Africa and not tomorrow then you should be thinking differently.

A wise old White African once said that “almost any meaningful success in Africa’s mobile or web space has been from companies focused on meeting the needs of ordinary people.”

A smart Kenyan developer will put his money on Nokia, more specifically on the Series 40 powered feature phone. This is the platform that will put money in your pocket in 2011.

I predict a delay in the widespread uptake of the Android OS. This is because of the limited number of quality, low cost devices on the market. There is also a learning curve effect, none of the devices above use touch screen input, this coupled with the data-hungry nature of the OS itself (compared to Nokia) will slow down its adoption.

The IDEOS is a good phone and its initial price point makes it very affordable.

More important however, its second-hand price is likely to have a very interesting effect on the market for low-end phones in the years to come (provided that it is as durable as a Nokia).

Most young people’s first mobile experience is usually through a device that has been handed down or bought second-hand. If this experience is with an Android device this translates to very high potential for growth. I’d give it at least 2 years.

These are the latest statistics on Kenya from the Opera State of the Mobile Web report for December 2010

Snapshot: Kenya

  • Page-view growth since December 2009: 95.4 %
  • Unique-user growth since December 2009: 89.3 %
  • Data transfer growth since December 2009: 111.4 %
  • Page-views per user: 661
  • Data transferred per user (MB): 7
  • Data transferred per page view (KB): 10

Top 10 sites in Kenya (unique users)

1. facebook.com

2. google.com

3. wapdam.com (4)

4. yahoo.com (6)

5. wikipedia.org (3)

6. youtube.com (5)

7. bbc.co.uk

8. my.opera.com (9)

9. reference.com (10)

10. nation.co.ke (back on the list)

Top handsets for December 2010

1. Nokia 2330c

2. Nokia 5130 XpressMusic

3. Nokia 1680c

4. Nokia 2700c

5. Nokia 2680s

6. Nokia 2600c

7. Nokia 2730c

8. Nokia 2690

9. Nokia 2220s

10. Nokia 3110c

Out of the 100 total handsets listed for Africa, 87 of them were Nokias, 8 of them were Samsungs, 3 of them were Sony Ericssons and 2 of them were LGs.

In 6 out of the top 10 countries in Africa, the top 10 lists were comprised solely of Nokia handsets.

Can we go back to the handsets stats again?

Top handsets for December 2010

1. Nokia 2330c

2. Nokia 5130 XpressMusic

3. Nokia 1680c

4. Nokia 2700c

5. Nokia 2680s

6. Nokia 2600c

7. Nokia 2730c

8. Nokia 2690

9. Nokia 2220s

10. Nokia 3110c

Wow and you are talking about what else???????????

Now onto the rest of the report, Sudan and Zimbabwe showed incredible growth during the period.

I personally would love to get some insight on this from people on the ground so if you have recently spent some time in either country, feel free to leave some comments in the comment section below

It’s no surprise that South Africa tops this list, of the top ten websites in SA, 3 (zamob.com, mxit.com and thumbtribe.mobi) are local sites, only nation.co.ke features in Kenya’s list, a clear indication that we need more local content.

What is your opinion on the topic?
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