As the CCK’s September 30 deadline for the switch-off of all non-genuine devices continues to draw nearer by the day, two of the country’s major mobile handset makers – Samsung and Huawei – have come forward to position themselves before the switch-off.
As part of its strategy, Samsung Electronics East Africa has unveiled the Samsung Chief Hero handset (E1500), a durable phone with a smart dual-SIM capability that is designed for cost sensitive users. The Chief Hero, which retails at Kshs 3,199, allows both SIM cards to be active and ‘always on’.
Speaking in Nairobi when he confirmed the launch of the Samsung Chief Hero handset, Samsung Electronics East Africa Business Leader Robert Ngeru said the internet-enabled handset has been customised for local conditions to boost the uptake of genuine handsets and support CCK’s anti counterfeit phones campaign.
The handset comes pre-loaded with Kiswahili language option and features a free 2GB memory card and headset in-box. As part of the offer, Samsung is giving an introductory offer of 50MB data for a period of 3 months, a free phone cover and Kshs 100 worth of airtime.
According to the CCK, close to 3 million mobile phones in the Kenyan market are counterfeit, translating to about 10 per cent of all the active mobile devices in the country.
The Chief Hero therefore has capability to meet local consumer preferences where a significant percentage of mobile phone users carry multiple SIM cards to take advantage of the different pricing plans on offer from the various operators. The Chief Hero supports GPRS dual band technology and with a 1000mAh battery, boasts an 11-hour talk time and 550 hours of standby time.
On the other hand, China’s Huawei Technologies has today issued a statement titled “Huawei Devices: Original China Brands, Huawei Devices Creating Quality User Experience at Affordable Cost” in a bid to reiterate that its devices are genuine.
“Huawei has created a competitive edge by introducing original devices that ensure quality user experience at affordable costs for Kenyans at all levels; as a result of our heavy investment in customer centric research and development (R&D). As a global ICT leader serving 45 out of the top 50 global operators and a third of the world’s population, Huawei adheres to the laws and regulations of the countries we operate in while meeting all the product requirements” said Wind Li, Huawei Kenya representative office CEO.
Huawei has been known for introducing low-priced smartphone devices into the country, the most famous being the Huawei IDEOS (launched in partnership with Safaricom), IDEOS X5, S7 Slim, and most recently Ascend Y100. The Huawei Media Pad and Honor are also available from Safaricom shops while the Gaga and Boulder are available at Orange Shops.
The firm also received support from the industry regulator issued a statement stating that the misconception that mobile handsets from China are non-gehuine.
In the statement, Mr. Francis W. Wangusi, CCK director general said, “The attention of the Commission has been drawn to a misconception in the mobile phones market that all handsets manufactured in China or by Chinese firms are counterfeit. The Commission wishes to state that China has globally recognized companies whose products and solutions are being used worldwide by top operators, and which meet CCK requirements in respect to quality and type approval. Consumers are therefore, advised to verify whether the handsets they wish to buy are genuine by sending the IMEI of the handset via sms to 1555. The response received from this system which has been set up in liaison with device manufacturers should be the only fool-proof yardstick for determining whether the handset is genuine or not. Members of the public are also advised to purchase mobile phones from vendors who are duly licensed by CCK and should demand to see the CCK type approval certificate of the model of the handset they wish to buy.”