Kenya: Safaricom to sell more smartphones

Technology & Convergence

Kenya’s biggest mobile operator, Safaricom, has said it will stop selling feature phones in its own retail stores an effort to increase smartphone penetration and bolster the East African country’s digital content market.

Corporate affairs director Nzioka Waita made the surprising announcement at the Mobile Web East Africa conference held in Nairobi this week.

“Safaricom is soon going to stop selling the cheap feature phones in all our retail outlets, as we try to skew the Kenyan market towards smartphones,” Waita said.

Feature phones will be replaced by low-cost smartphones that “are now readily available in the country”.

The move is expected to increase demand for local digital content, which Waita said will help to further develop Kenya’s technology sector.

Safaricom recently launched a US$125 smartphone called the Yolo. Powered by Intel’s 1,2GHz Atom Z2320 processor, the device runs Google’s Android operating system and will come bundled with 500MB of data.