Obi Mobiles introduced its phones in India last year and also launched in some countries in the Middle East, becoming the newest smartphone company in the market. During its global introduction, it also announced it would be making an entry in Africa in 2015.
That announcement has become reality this week as the company has made it known that March is the month it will introduce its very affordable range of phones to the Kenyan market, making Kenya the first country in Africa to avail the devices.
Obi Mobiles, which is owned by former Apple CEO John Sculley, has designed smartphones for the young generation who may now be looking to transition from feature phones, and according to Sculley, the devices are designed for the youth of 13 to 24 year olds, – not more.
But the age factor should not scare people off, if it has the features and specs you need, why not? In any case it has most of the features present in an iPhone or close to, only much much less expensive. Obi Mobiles are designed for the low income earners, and that is why they are perfect for Africa.
Investors around the world are looking to put money in Africa -that has been established already. Everyone believes Africa is the destination to make money and in the process improve people’s lives by of course taking advantage of them. It is the reality of business.
With the ICT sector, it’s even worse now because the continent is a target market, Kenya attracting more attention than others with its very successful mobile money payments through Safaricom’s M-Pesa.
According to reports, Safaricom’s mobile wallet carries out more money transactions and attracts more income than any other mobile platform across the world. That is how successful the mobile money platform is, and that of course brings the attention of people wanting to be part of it.
Why I Think Obi Mobiles Will Do Well
To start with, there is absolutely nothing extraordinary about the Obi Mobile Devices, they have the normal specs you would find in a smartphone. However, there is something worth mentioning, Obi Mobile smartphones are more than affordable, they are cheap.
2015 is the year when companies are expected to launch more affordable smartphones to reach the African market that everyone believes is the future, expectations for low-cost smartphones are so over the top that high-end smartphones will be hardly noticed.
Now, at a time when smartphone manufacturers are looking towards meeting the needs of consumers in the African content, Obi has done what all the others are afraid of – they have introduced just affordable smartphones.
If you consider the low-cost smartphone market for example, there is hardly a manufacturer specializing in the affordable smartphones, most already have the high-end while others are operating in the safe zone, not wanting to lose money but afraid to admit it.
Obi will become the solution people like me have been searching for, nice smartphones designed for those who can hardly afford it. The most expensive Obi smartphone will cost the user 200 Dollars (about KSh18,000), how awesome is that?
I am not sure how much the phones will retail in Kenya but I Know that is how much the best Obi smartphone costs. The Obi Octopus S520 is the latest of the devices and features the latest generation processors, the Octa-Core processor and also runs on latest Android Kit Kat.
With a back camera at 8-megapixel and a 2-megapixel front facing camera to allow for selfies and video chats, the Octopus features the common smartphone specs but with a hardware device that is close to the iPhone. So, it’s like getting an iPhone at a very very cheap price.
That said, the cheapest Obi Mobile smartphone is expected to retail at 70 Dollars (6,300), and yes, it will have all the features attractive in a good device. With that amount and a promise to have a cool design and beautiful smartphone I don’t see why anyone would say no.
But that’s just me, and no matter the target group (24 and below) I believe Obi Mobiles will perform very well in Kenya and also in the rest of Africa.