China Phones! I wouldn’t have given them a chance some months back, but that is changing as the chinkos are manufacturing better looking and more functional phones. It is looking like we no longer can afford to ignore them.
I remember one of the first China phones to hit the Nigerian market. A friend had brought a unit and asked me to help install useful mobile applications and to configure it for internet. Do I have to say that we were not able to put any application on the phone and also didn’t succeed in configuring it for internet? Simply put, the phone was useless.
Fast forward to 18 months later, a completely different person asked for the same thing- to help install useful mobile apps and configure for internet on his China phone. My initial response was, “There’s no use, it won’t work”. But she begged and I decided to give it a shot. The first thing I did was to manually input internet settings. Once that was done, I launched the browser and to my amazement it loaded well. The browser even loaded a social networking site like Facebook. This was the first surprise. The second was that the phone gladly accepted Java applications and they worked well on it.
It has been an upward trend for China phones since then. They are getting more and more matured as the days go by.
However, what I dislike about these phones and wish will change is the use of brand names of other mobile phone manufacturers by the people behind some of these phones. An example is the “Nokia N99i” (pictured right), which is by no means manufactured by Nokia.
These phones I dare say are now good enough to have their own brand names, and with their current pricing scheme, these phones will continue to do well in emerging markets. Some of them are already doing this, and we have brand names such as i-mobile.
China phone, anyone?