Imitation Phones Choke Ugandan Mobile Phone Business

6702 Views Kampala, Uganda
The mobile phone remains one of the most sought after items on the Ugandan market, and because of the rising demanding several mobile phone shops have sprouted in different parts of the country. Up until recently, phone dealers were selling brands from UK, Finland and Dubai. But all is not rosy now. The emergency of Chinese phones on Uganda's mobile phone market has come with a knock off effect for dealers in genuine brands. James Ssalongo, owner of Small World Telecom dealing in phones and their accessories says 7 years when he joined the business, England, and Dubai were the major suppliers of mobile phones. He recalls that the market was stable because all the imported phone products were of standard quality. Today Salongo says that the advent of substandard products from China has had a severe effect on the country's phone business. // Cue in: iWe have a Cue out: #out of businessi Ssalongo is not alone in the phone business. Ismail Sserugo, of Dembe Phone Dealers along William Street, expresses a similar view. He says the fake mobile phones have choked the profits of phone dealers and killing the booming mobile phone market in Uganda. Serugo blames the Chinese investors for dealing in refurbished phone head sets at the expense of the genuine standard phones. Ssalongo cites a Nokia 1100, which he sells at 70,000 yet a similar refurbished type is offered at 50,000 at the Chinese shops. But Silas Mubanda, a manager with V- Two a Chinese mobile phone shop along William street says he is also in business like any other phone dealer. He says they sell at a more relative cheaper price, to attract the market. Mubanda says they have unique services which allow their clients to return back the phones in case they don't suit their intended purposes. China is one of the giant manufacturers of mobile phones world wide. Never the less, Ruth Nabiryo of Giant Eagle, one of the Big Mobile phone dealers in Kampala says people still have not taken phone ownership as a priority. Nabiryo however says that phone buyers can be cetegoried into the older persons who don't care about the extra functions a mobile phone can offer, the teenagers who are so crazy about the MP3, Video and camera functions and the corporate guys who want to buy the flashy phones. Nabiryo explains that the Sumsang which costs between 600,000 shillings and 2.5 million shillings is usually bought by the educated class, because it has varying functions including the internet and the blue tooth. Whatever the price or market of the mobile phones, the potential buyers have their own reasons for owning a mobile phone. Josephe Walakira has bought his Nokia 6300 at 330,000 because of the multi- functions. // Cue in "It has Cue out: good phone." Teenagers on the other hand have come up as one of the biggest group of phone buyers. Most of them are attracted to the unique functions like games. // Cue in. "I wanted ... Cue out:. And others."


Tagged with: telecommunications