Battle of the Smartphones: International Perspective

By Nicholas Perugini, Trending Writer

The smartphone war has many battlegrounds throughout the world. From the homes in America, to the bustling cities in China, and even to the nations of Sub-Sahara Africa. The African continent is home to over one billion people. Companies such as Apple, Samsung, and Google cannot deny such a large global market share. Despite much debate on the growth of Africa’s middle class, it has as not stopped tech companies from importing their products into the continent. Mark Zuckerberg announced a Facebook initiative to give internet access to millions of Africans in 2015. Africa is a new battleground for these companies and it is still too early to call a winner, but Samsung has taken an early lead.

The Samsung Galaxy Pocket is a smartphone that sells for less than $100 dollars. Samsung’s ability to produce cost-efficient smartphones has given it an edge in the developing market. However, there still is some competition. Huawei, a Chinese manufacturing company has also been positioning itself to become a dominate power in the African smartphone market. The Huawei’s Ideos X1 is a smartphone that is under $50 and runs on the Android software. According to CCTV, China’s state television broadcaster, Huawei owns 50 percent of Kenya’s cellphone market. The company is also expanding to other southern African nations. Among competitors, there are also companies in Africa that participate in the market for smartphones.

According to CNN, the South African company, Onyx Connect, has begun mass-producing a smartphone that will only cost $30. This phone will run on a variation of the Android operating system, which is google certified. The phone has one gigabyte of ram and a rear-facing camera. The phone will also have a clean slate, allowing users to download the apps they want. Most cost-effective smartphones come pre-downloaded with apps that take up a great deal of space. It is unknown how well this phone will perform in the African market, but the potential to become a threat to Samsung or Huawei cannot be ignored. According to DW Akademie, it is predicted that there will be 412 million smart phones in Africa by 2018. The race is on for these companies and only time will tell who will be the eventual winner for the smartphone battle in Africa.

 

A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, September 12th print edition.

Contact Nicholas at

nicholas.perugini@student.shu.edu

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