The recent launch and re-launch of various brands of smartphones in the Nigerian market underscored the efforts of government in wooing foreign investors, writes Emma Okonji
Efforts by the federal governmentÂ to woo foreign investorsÂ Â to Nigeria and invest in various sectors of the economy, through various initiatives are beginning to yield results in the telecoms sector.
Penultimate week, Nigerians witnessed the launch and re-launch of different brands of smartphones from various vendors. This development isÂ Â boosting market competition, price reduction and giving Nigerians the opportunity to make choices from a range of smartphones.
While Freetel, Japanâ€™s largest selling smartphone mobile brand was launched for the first time into the Nigerian market, old brands like Motorola and Nokia that were once vibrant in the Nigerian telecoms market, but later went under for various reasons, also re-launched their mobile phones. This is an indication that the market is becoming more attractive to foreign investors.
Launch of Freetel smartphones
Freetel, penultimate week, announced its partnership with TD Mobile to establish its presence in the Nigerian mobile market space.
Founded by a few enthusiastic telecom experts in 2012 in the city of Toyko, Japan with a clear vision to re-create the Japanese quality smartphones at affordable prices, Freetel said it had launched its smartphone in 20 countries, before Nigeria.
Freetel started its expansion programme since November 2015 in Asia, North America, Latin America, Middle East and Africa. The Freetel devices are currently available in 20 countries including two African markets of Egypt and Ghana respectively.
The Japanese giant phone maker, penultimate week in Lagos, launched four different models of its Andriod smartphones into the Nigerian market with prices ranging from as low as N13, 000 to N38, 000.
Freetel smartphones are designed in the state of the art design centre in Tokyo, and the manufacturing is supervised by Japanese engineers with over 40 yearsâ€™ experience and all of them are Google GMS certified. The GMS Certification is the confirmation that a specific device meets Googlesâ€™ performance requirements and properly runs the Google Apps.
Speaking at the media launch, Vice President, International Sales, Freetel, Mr. Eugene Yoshioka, said: â€œNigeria is the market for Freetel and we are looking forward to reach out to Nigerian consumers with our latest smartphones. We plan to invest in the country with a full-fledged subsidiary to support sales, marketing and after sales support. We are glad that we are partnering the most powerful and trusted partner of the region TD Africa.â€
As a subsidiary of ICT distribution power-house, Technology Distribution Limited (TD Africa), will add the Freetel brand to a growing list of international brands represented in line with its status as the biggest mobile devices distributor in the West African sub-region. Considering its wide reach, distribution network, massive retailer base and unmatched presence in major Nigerian cities and other West Africa capitals, the partnership will see the company deploy its latest capacity in taking the line-up of products from the Freetel stable to every action in the metropolis as well as every nook and cranny in the hinterlands.
Also speaking at the event, the Managing Director, TD Mobile, Mrs. GozyIjogun, said: â€œAs a key driver of the technology revolution in Africa, TD Mobile has always strived to bring the latest and best of technology products to Nigeria and the West Africa region by extension. In line with this, Freetel and TD Mobile have entered into an exclusive partnership to bring Japanese smartphones to Nigeria. We believe we can capture a major market share with the help of our extensive distribution reach and strategic partnership with operators, dealers and retailers.â€
â€œFor lovers of quality smartphones the good news is that Freetel will be availbale in the market across ten major cities in Nigeria to include; Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Kano, Ibadan, among others, from August this year,â€ Ijogun said.
Infinix Note 4, Note 4 Pro launched
Another brand of smartphone that was launched within the same periodÂ Â is the Infinix Mobility smartphone. Infinix announced the launch of its new Note series smartphone â€˜Infinix Note 4 and Note 4 Pro with a stylus â€˜Xpenâ€™.
The latest device from Infinix is the most anticipated smartphone yet to be released this year and it is themed â€˜5 minutes charge 250 minutes talkâ€™
As the Note series remains a game changer in its product market, the new Note 4 comes with the stylish stylus â€˜Xpenâ€™. The Xpen offers great functionality for Infinix Note users, it allows it users to take down notes, create shortcuts and also sketch easily on the Xnote using the Xpen.
Infinix integrated other technology innovation in the new Note smartphone, it is pre-packed with Xcharge 4.0 which provides the quickest charge with low voltage and high efficiency, equipped with big battery life of 4300MAH â€“ 4500MAH. These features allow the Note 4 to charge fast within 5 minutes to talk for 250 minutes.
The Infinix Note 4 and Note 4 PRO is also the first Infinix smartphone to be prepacked with the latest Android 7.0 OS infused with the Infinix UI â€˜XOS 2.3â€™. The Note 4 also comes with other outstanding features such as 5.7FHD screen, 13MP AF back camera with dual color LED Flash, 8MP-mega pixels front camera, Octa-core 1.3GHz 64bits processor, Fingerprint recognition, 2.5 Touch panel, 16 & 32GB ROM, with expandable storage space to 128gb and 3GB RAM. Both devices are 4G enabled, according to the mobile phone company.
Nokia, a one -time household name in the mobile phone space in Nigeria, made a fresh incursion into the Nigerian smartphone market.
HMD Global, the home of Nokia phones, announced its first Nokia smartphone range, comprising the Nokia 3, Nokia 5 and Nokia 6, available at selected operator and retail stores. Launched in Lagos, the devices combine superior craftsmanship, distinctive design and powerful entertainment features with apure Android experience, giving customers the ability to use the phone in styles.
Vice President, Sub-Sahara Africa, HMD Global, Mr. Justin Maier said: â€œI believe that HMD Global will be able to offer something for everyone. From the new Nokia 3310 feature phone to our premium Nokia 6 smartphone, we are bringing phones to Nigeria that will entice and delight, while offering simplicity, reliability, quality and importantly, the human touch. I am looking forward to this new chapter in Africa for Nokia Phones.â€
General Manager, West, East and Central Africa, HMD Global, Joseph Umunakwe, said: â€œPhones have become an extension of ourselves and are integral to so many aspects of our lives.”
Speaking on the features, he said the Nokia 6 combines superior craftsmanship and distinctive design with an immersive audio experience and a 5.5â€ full HD screen, and delivers a truly premium smartphone experience.
The Motorola brand of smartphone was also re-launched. Motorola, known for its 3310 brand of mobile phone, once took the centre stage in mobile phone market in Nigeria, but later went under, after selling out the mobile phone arm of it business. Several years after the brand was pulled out circulation, Lenovo, penultimate week, through its subsidiary, Motorola Mobility, re-launched theÂ Â brand of mobile phones into the Nigerian market. Lenovo unveiled the new range of Moto smartphones to core dealers in Lagos.
The smartphone models which include the Moto E4, Moto E4 plus, Moto C 3G, Moto C 4G and Moto C plus, boasts of exciting new features and user friendly applications. Motorolaâ€™s range ofÂ Â innovativeÂ Â smartphones guarantee consumers the opportunity to experience high definition display and cutting edge design at value prices.
The Moto E, which also features the Moto E4 Plus in its range, provides exceptional value for an end user as it combines the things you need at a price you will love. The Moto E has a vibrant 5″ HD display, elegantly wrapped in metal and thoughtfully designed to fit right in your hand. It also features a high definition camera which will enable consumers to shoot beautiful pictures with advanced cameras even in low light with long lasting battery.
The new Moto E Plus gives customers a huge 5.5″ HD display and a massive 5000 mAh battery which can last up to 2 days, unlocks using the touch of your finger. Watch videos, play games, and more powered by a quad-core processor at 4G speed, the Moto E Plus is more of a good thing.
Speaking at the re-launch event, Head of Marketing at Motorola, Shane Solomon, said: â€œIt is indeed a great pleasure to be back in the Nigerian market to introduce these new smartphones. Nigeria is a huge market for mobile phones and it is a market for consumers who are constantly looking to more in terms of what they can achieve with their smartphones.”
The launch and re-launch of smartphones into the Nigerian market, will not only create competition for price reduction, but will also provide Nigerians the opportunity to make choice of mobile phones.