NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Chinese-made cell phones are now wildly popular
in Kenya’s rural areas due to their multitude of functions and
Chinese brands like
Fero, X-tigi and Xgm are little known in urban areas like
Nairobi, but these low cost feature phones have taken over the
countryside. Several Chinese cell phones with a pricetag of 8 to
25 U.S. dollars are affordable to residents in Kenya’s rural
areas where incomes in general are low.
radio, flashlight, camera and the internet make the phones a hit
in the countryside because they help local residents enjoy a
similar experience as if being in the city, home to more
Joseph Shikono, a
motorbike taxi rider in western Kenya’s Kakamega district, is
the proud owner of a 15-dollar Chinese-made phone.
“With this phone, I
access all social media sites,” he said. “This is what I can
afford and it is serving me well,” Shikono said.
Like Shikono, a
majority of the riders in vast upcountry towns are using similar
“This phone does not
consume much time because it does not have many applications
like high-end smart phones,” said Beatrice Agutu, a resident of
Busia, on the border of Kenya and Uganda.
Agutu added that she
charges her phone twice a week as the battery lasts quite long.
She also listens to music with it.
Unlike other foreign
manufacturers that generally concentrate on high-end phones,
Chinese manufactures cover all kinds of segments—low, middle and
Earnest Manuyo, a
business management lecturer at Pioneer Institute in Nairobi,
said that the bulk of phone makers have ignored the mass market,
comprised of the rural population and urban poor, who live in
manufacturers have not ignored this segment including those who
make expensive phones like Tecno and Oppo,” Manuyo said. “This
is a plus for them as they have cemented their dominance in a
market least talked about.”