I want to buy Kenyan Made Mobile Apps..Please help?

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Bad news, Mobile Apps developers in East Africa are yet to make money according to research by TNS Global East Africa.  So majority of the users currently get the mobile applications through sharing technologies like Bluetooth and not downloading directly. Let me just point it out politely that  that is the polite way of talking about pirating mobile apps in Kenya.

To say the truth this is not news, we have always known this. Why, i have no idea!  Two weeks ago during Nokia developer’s happy hours we had some great chats on monetizing mobile apps in Kenya and Africa. It was clear to many of us that the biggest challenge at the moment to developers is getting the right formula to make money from mobile apps. Before we blame it all on the weather there are a number of questions developers should be asking themselves?

First question is, are there right apps out there that deserve to be bought?

Talking about people not buying apps before checking what exactly are out there to be bought might not be the right thing. So what are some of the killer Kenyan mobile apps out there?  Before I started to write this post, I slept on my back thinking hard on which Kenyan mobile app to buy. At that point I realized that for me to buy any app it has to be something which I need to use, it has to be something which add value to my life or lifestyle. Yes I am still thinking….

Second Question, which sounds like the first one is, what do people want or what do people do online?

This one is a hard nut to crack. What do Kenyans or people of East Africa do online beyond the basic?  Put up your hand if you think you know the answer. Mmmh  think again.  Here are the top ten most visited websites through PC or fixed in Kenya

1 Google.co.ke

2 Google

3. Facebook

4. Yahoo!

5. YouTube

6. Blogger.com

7. Wikipedia

8. Twitter

9. Daily Nation

10. BBC

Source Alexa.com April 2011 via Nokia Siemens Networks

How about on Mobile phones?

1. Facebook

2. Google

3. Wapdam

4. Yahoo!

5. Wikipedia

6. YouTube

7. BBC

8. My Opera

9. Reference.com

10. Daily Nation

Source Opera.com Dec 2010 via Nokia Siemens Networks

As you might have realized eight of the top ten websites are the same on both sides. Down to the understanding what are people are doing on the most visited websites, I came up with the following

Ok, another list based on the above. Using number of lines pointing to each classification:

1.      Search

2.      Social Media

3.      Emails

4.      News

5.      Videos/news/porn/music

The biggest mystery on the above is the search classification. Understanding what people are searching for is not a simple task. I know many people who can’t remember their own websites addresses but at least know that they can get there through Google. So what they do all the time is to search for the url on Google.  To them Google is the internet or the starting point after opening a web browser.

During Mobile Marketing function sometime back Google revealed the top Google mobile most searched words in Kenya as follows

1.football

2. mobile content

3. music

4. finance

5. Africa

6. cars

Yes, after that function I was tempted to stop this tech blogging nonsense and start doing something people love..Football. It took a whole common sense to convince me to hold on that thought. That aside, from the Google details, we are heading somewhere. People are actually looking for mobile contents in Kenya. Great. If that is the case then why can’t they buy them? Naomba serikali ajibu hiyo swali!

Anyway it seems people search for the mobile contents but instead of buying, they look for the free ways to get them……..

Not so fast on conclusion, let go back to my first question! Now that we know that most people are looking for football related news or stories how many good Kenyan made Football mobile apps are out there?

What is your opinion on the topic?
Kennedy Kachwanya
Lead Blogger at Kachwanya.com
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Kennedy Kachwanya is a technology blogger interested in mobile phones both smart and dumb, mobile apps, mobile money, social media, startups ecosystem and digital Savannah. New media must not forget the strength of old tech.
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