Chinese company, ZTE Nigeria, currently assembling mobile handsets in the country, has fixed the price of its first two products at N13,000 and N13,700. Some buyers, who were at the ZTE factory in Abuja, however, said the phones were expensive as the company had promised to assemble phones for low income earners.

"It is good and it is in a class of its own, but there are different buyers for every category of phone," a buyer, who left the factory disappointed said. Asked if it was affordable, the buyer, who preferred anonymity said "it is affordable for some people".

Officials of the company who spoke to correspondents of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) said the company would produce more variety of phones for all types of users.

Logistics Manager of the factory Aisha Sadiq said the company had not fixed a particular date for launching of the product as more phones were being assembled at the factory for the market.

Sadiq in a previous interview with NAN had said that the first phase of local handsets would be for "low end users" as part of efforts to spread the benefits of the telecom revolution to low income earners.

"I thought the handsets would be much cheaper considering the fact that the price of handsets in the market has been dropping overtime," another buyer Comfort Adebola said.

"Right now you can buy new phones for as low as N4,000 so I was expecting a lower price since they said it was for low end users," she added.

Sadiq said the company would also produce more complex handsets with various facilities for the rich, pointing out that the first priority was to connect those that could afford SIM packs and cheap handsets.

She said the company started with assembling handsets, but would later expand its operations to include manufacturing by using local raw materials and producing for the larger African markets.

NAN reports that the two flip phones, A80 and A88, unveiled to some individuals at the ZTE factory had polyphonic tones, a 250 memory capacity for storing names and coloured screens.

Daily Trust