Over the last three years to 2018, the price of smartphones has dropped by more than 1,000 shillings as new technologies make way into the market, a study has revealed.
According to a report dubbed Jumia Mobile Report 2019, customers spent an average of 18,500 shillings to purchase a smartphone in 2014. However, the amount has significantly reduced over the years.
In 2016, the average amount customers spent to buy a smartphone stood at 9,600 shillings. Two years later, the amount further dropped to 8,500 shillings.
“Although affordability of the smartphone has historically been quoted as a major challenge, Jumia has reported a continuous decrease in average price of the smartphone over the last three years,” read the report.
Jumia attributes the drop in prices to the rise of more affordable devices with almost equally the same features from various brands in the market.
New devices entering the market have kept the smartphone industry on its toes. Despite the stiff competition, the Kenyan and African markets are dominated by Chinese brands.
Infinix brands recorded the highest sales in 2018 through the e-commerce platform. Jumia noted Xiaomi and Huawei as strong new entrants gaining claiming 5 and 9 percent market share in Jumia in 2018.
Although the prices of smartphones have been falling, buyers rely more on specifications, how others perceive the brand as well as the quality of the device.
“This has resulted in brands offering higher specifications at lower pricing by investing in higher storage, larger screen size, better camera resolution and 4G network connectivity on their devices. This with the need to create value for consumers,” Jumia said.
Over the past few years, Chinese brands have strengthened their presence in Kenya’s market with highly affordable, medium, and high-end devices that provide consumers with a wide range of internet-enabled gadgets.
Tecno, Huawei, Lenovo, Oppo, and Infinix phones, which have and are gradually gaining popularity have exerted downward pressure on the price of smartphones in the local market. Samsung, Wiko of France, and Blackberry of Canada have also contributed to the drop in prices.