By Bolanle Abbas
Lagos. October 2, 2012: The Samsung Galaxy Pocket, an entry-level Smartphone that bundles the affordability edge is the top selling mobile phone handset in Nigeria according to the Technology Times Intelligence Unit that tracked the retail ecosystem to profile the Top 5 Selling Mobile Phones in the country.
Nigeria, ranked as Africa’s biggest telecoms market with over 103.4 million active lines and penetration of 73.88 per cent at July 2012, is home to a vibrant marketplace for handset makers pumping various models from basic feature phone to sophisticated smart phones to meet the needs of an increasingly trendy and sophisticated consumer base.
While Blackberry may not occupy the top spot on the ranking, RIM’s trendy Smartphone remains a favourite among Nigerian mobile phone users. Three models from the Canadian company which is lately refocusing its local market growth featured on the Top 5 Selling Mobile Phone ranking.
According to mobile phone market retail ecosystem tracked by Technology Times Intelligence Unit, the market research division of Technology Times, within the month of September 2012, Samsung led the Top 5 Selling Mobile Phones ranking among growing buyers who prefer to be on the technology cutting edge but balances that desire with consciousness for their pockets. Thant makes the phone, currently sold below the N20, 000 price tag, the buyers top choice.
This is largely as smaller players are emerging in the marketplace packing features reflecting market needs like multiple SIM phones. So far, none of the three-SIM models feature on the Top 5 but they are undoubtedly rising in profile and it is no surprise that the Nokia Asha 202, a dual-SIM handset emerged on the Top 5 list, albeit at the bottom.
The Nokia Asha 202, the number five selling mobile phone in Nigeria in the month of September 2012 features a dual-SIM is rising in profile among buyers despite the relative trendy Blackberry which is hot in the market thanks to its BBM Messenger service which has triggered a pinging rave among Nigerians growing connected user family.
Nokia Asha 202 place reflects growing consumer appetite for mobile phone handsets with dual SIMs which are becoming commonplace in a market where phone users use multiple SIMs but now seeing need to carry fewer handsets.
In a marketplace where multiple mobile phone line is the norm, Nokia’s response to reclaiming market share with dual-SIM handsets shows market promises for the Finnish phone makers efforts to reclaim its share of the handset market share in Nigeria.
The leader of the pack, the Samsung Galaxy Pocket is the market’s favourite as it packs the powers of a good Smartphone that does not punch a hole in the buyers pocket at a pocket-friendly price averaging N18, 500.
Social media is the in-thing in Africa’s most vibrant telecoms market currently counting over 102 million active phone lines and mobile phone makers are mindful that it is now cool to be linked to these cools sites from Facebook, Twitter and the likes as shown by the Top 5 Selling Mobile Phones in Nigeria:
#1: Samsung Galaxy Pocket
Price: N18, 500
The Samsung Galaxy Pocket is one of the fastest-mover among Android smart phones in the mobile phone market space. With its tiny form and Google’s Smartphone OS, the Galaxy Pocket has been able to capture a large number of users in the lower budget Smartphone segment due largely because it is very pocket-friendly both in physical appeal and affordability.
Samsung Galaxy Pocket is a neat, little handset that is both easy to hold in the palm of the hand and also extremely portable. The rectangular Home button, like most Samsung smart phones, is placed in front and centre, below the 2.8-inch capacitive display of 240 x 320 pixels.
Despite its mere 97 grams in weight, the phone still has a weight about it that doesn’t make it feel cheap. The plastic panelling is of good quality that keeps up with the price and offers a little bit of style and durability.
The volume control is on the left and the power/sleep button is on the right. A 3.5mm handsfree socket is placed at the top, beside a dual function micro USB port that is covered with a flap. The Samsung Galaxy Pocket comes with 3GB of internal storage and also supports microSD cards up to 32GB, an edge that makes it one of the very few devices to come with this much internal memory at this price range.
The phone comes with a smooth Touchscreen, good quality small display screen, a 2MP sharp camera. The 1,200 mAh Battery allows about 15 hours of talk time and 820 hours of standby time but drains off when accessing the internet or playing games. That means that users have to keep their charger handy like most other smart phones.
Samsung Galaxy Pocket basic specifications include an Android 2.3 operating system version, Touch screen keypad, 2.8 inch screen size, TFT display technology, 320 x 240 pixels screen resolution. It also features a rear-facing 2 mega pixel camera, video recording and VGA maximum video capture resolution.
The Samsung Galaxy Pocket also features WiFi, 3.0 +HS Bluetooth version, micro USB, 3.5mm headphone connection and sets a trend of being a device that lets users with low budget savour the Smartphone experience.
#2: Blackberry Curve 4 (9360)
Price: N43, 500
The Blackberry Curve 9360 (Curve 4, as popularly known) by Research in Motion (RIM), has again connected very well with fans and lovers of the Curve series of the Blackberry range of smart phones by emerging number 2 among the Top 5 selling phones.
The Curve series is one of Blackberry’s most popular, affordable (though hardly cheap), sleek and not-too-flashy device. However, Curve 4 has been updated to give the Curve series more punch among lovers of the Smartphone.
Curve 4 is 11mm and 100gms meaning the phone is very slim, lightweight and sleek, also making it the lightest Blackberry around at dimensions of 109mm x 60mm x 11mm.
An elegant, grey metal rim is at the back and despite the smooth rear battery cover (Near Field Communication antenna on the underside); grip is excellent because of a thin rubberized strip between the cover and the metal rim. The clunky side buttons of earlier Blackberry smart phones has been replaced by small contoured rubberized fins (buttons) that are part of the rubber casing.
Curve 4 has a micro USB port for charging and sync while the standard 3.5mm audio out slot is on top with a lock button. The keypad is better than older Curve series and in another welcome change, the microSD card is swappable.
The 9360 Curve comes with a 2.44-inch, 480 x 360 pixel transmissible TFT LCD that is quite sharp due to Blackberry 7 OS’ Liquid Graphics technology. The 800 MHz 32-bit Marvell PXA940 is powerful enough to ensure a smooth user experience. The Curve comes with 512 MB of RAM and 512 MB ROM. The microSD/SDHC slot supports up to 32 GB memory cards for additional media storage. GPS and Wi-Fi support are included in the Curve 4.
#3: Blackberry Bold 5 (9900)
Price N80, 000
Even though this Smartphone has been in the market for a while, the Blackberry Bold 9900 still continues to be a trend-setter among other smart phones in the mobile phone market. The Smartphone which is among the ones released when RIM went down can be said to have revived the Blackberry market.
The Bold 9900 looks like the Bold 9000 from the front, but is thinner, slightly smaller. Being one of the thinnest Blackberry at a 115 x 66 x 10.5mm dimension, the Bold 5 looks great and very business-like. It comes in a brushed metal rim with a thin polished edge and under the rear cover is the Near Field Communication (NFC) antenna. So the rear had to be smooth carbon fibre, so there would be no signal disruptions.
Weighing in at 130gms, the Bold 9900 is heavier and bigger than its immediate predecessor. Button positioning is a bit different from the standard Blackberry style. On the right of the 9900, there are now four buttons compared to the previous three. Three are media buttons with a welcome Pause button in the middle and the bottom one is a convenience key that enables users personalize to their preference.
There is also a micro USB port for charging and sync and a standard 3.5mm audio out slot with a nice contoured design. On the top, there is a single lock button placed in the centre and far easier to click than the top lock button on some earlier Blackberry smart phones.
Bold 5 boasts of a 2.8-inch, 640 x 480 pixel capacitive Touchscreen that is incredibly sharp courtesy of Blackberry 7 OS Liquid Graphics technology. The Touchscreen is very precise and responsive and the trackpad plus Touchscreen combo works great.
Although the Bold 5 is quite expensive, it sure gives users value for their money and shows class without going overboard.
#4: Blackberry Curve 7 (9320)
Price: N36, 000
Research in Motion recently launched the Curve 9320, which has some features that had not been found on Blackberry handsets (except 9220). These include a dedicated BBM button and FM radio capabilities.
The new Blackberry Curve 9320 Smartphone features all the core Blackberry messaging and social-centric features that keep people connected, and it offers global 3G connectivity backed by a long battery life that allows 7 hours of talk time or up to 30 hours of FM radio listening or music playback with headphones. 3G connectivity is an addition found on this handset, which the Blackberry Curve 9220 did not feature.
The new Social Feeds 2.0 app is also pre-loaded on the Curve 7 allowing users to post updates to multiple social networks simultaneously and capture updates from news sources (RSS), social apps and instant messaging apps, all in a consolidated view.
The Curve 7′s integrated camera includes a flash and supports video recording, and pictures can be tagged with their location due to the Smartphone’s built-in GPS.
The Blackberry Curve 9320 comes with the new BlackBerry 7.1 OS, which supports features, such as Mobile Hotspot and Wi-Fi calling where available. Parental Controls is a brand new, on-device feature that provides parents and guardians with simple options to help protect children by restricting access to specific functions, features and applications.
The new Curve could be said to be relatively cheap with the newly-added features and the durability. And it comes in really handy for those who love to have their radio on the move as well as socialites.
#5: Nokia Asha 202
Price: N13, 000
A dual SIM-touch and type phone, the Nokia Asha 202 is designed for cost effective web browsing, social networking, gaming and entertainment. The Nokia Asha 202 is packed with a range of features and services, such as the EA games pack and Nimbuzz chat client.
The Asha 202 aims to offer faster, richer and a more cost-efficient web experience through the Nokia Browser. And has got a lot in store and very affordable for average mobile phone users.
Nokia’s Asha 202’s combination of a traditional keypad with a 2.4-inch Touchscreen is ideal for mobile phone users seeking easy ways to connect to the web and social networks to catch updates and multi-tasks, all on the go.
Nokia Asha 202 features dual SIM with Easy Swap technology and a dedicated SIM manager to personalize the phone and save up to five SIM cards with unique information.
The device comes with a 2 megapixel camera, music player, FM radio, Nokia Browser, and Bluetooth connectivity, and has expandable memory of up to 32GB.
The Nokia Asha 202 comes in four colours to match users’ mood and personality: black and gold, silver white, dark grey and dark red. Display is 2.4 inch resistive Touchscreen, which serves as the navigation tool, Camera is 2 MP, with resolution of 1600 x 1200 pixels which is not for high quality recording but still does well for basic capturing.
Nokia Asha 202′s internal memory is 10MB and 16MB RAM memory but it can be expandable up to 32GB over microSD slot. The basic internal memory is enough to make archive of 20 dialed, 20 received and 20 missed calls.
Nokia Asha 202 has a battery of only 1020 mAh which is enough for 5 hours of talk. Connection is possible over USB, Bluetooth, GPRS and EDGE but there is no WiFi.
Editor’s Note: Report updated to reflect the month of September covered by the market study rather than November 2012. Thanks for your understanding.