Lenovo has officially launched its smartphone business in the East African region. The multinational is banking on the success of its smartphone business in Europe and Asia to propel the East African operation.
During the launch held in Nairobi — Lenovo’s regional headquarters — the company cited the increasing internet usage as a growth opportunity for the company.
According to the latest Communication Authority of Kenya fourth quarter sector report for the year 2014/15, there are an estimated 29.6 million internet users. Mobile data subscriptions contribute to 99 per cent of the total subscriptions.
To boost its smartphone market in the region, Lenovo is partnering with telecommunications and major distributors in the various EA countries.
The technology manufacturer has already signed a partnership with Safaricom and is currently pursuing Airtel.
“We moved into the market with the understanding that the consumer is spoilt for choice on their quest to acquire a smartphone. Our preposition to the consumer is the emphasis we have placed on style, productivity, privacy, power and entertainment in the manufacture of our devices,” says Danish Oyugi, Lenovo’s regional manager.
Kenya is a fertile ground for growth because it provides 50 per cent of the smartphone business in the region. The company has already sold 10,000 units of its recent ‘Vibe Series’ range of phones.
Lenovo rolls out at a time Chinese manufacturers Tecno and Infinix are getting a grip of the market. However, the market share is still uneven with the market leader Samsung recording a market share of 46 per cent as of the first quarter of 2015.
Lenovo is targeting entry- level smartphone users in Kenya with an aim of clinching 20 per cent market share by the end of 2016.