Why other mobile brands are less visible than Nokia in Nigeria

Posted by

I was going through Mobility Nigeria’s Twitter mentions earlier today and came across the following tweet:

nokia symbian

ifeoluwadebo Adebowale Ojo
I think @mobilitynigeria team reports more on Symbian than other mobile platforms. #justnoticed

I consider this a very valid observation. It does look like that, and I will present clear answers to why that is so. But for starters, I must reiterate that this site is totally independent of any brand or platform. We cover all mobile brands and platforms that are officially supported in the country.

Symbian is a Nokia product, so please bear this in mind because I will mention Nokia in this article and make almost no mention of Symbian. For now, Nokia is synonymous with Symbian.

If you are wondering why Mobility Nigeria (and indeed almost every other tech news site in the country) has a greater focus on Nokia, it is because Nokia is more visible and engaging than any of the other brands. As a matter of fact, Nokia has been more visible and engaging than all the other brands put together.

  1. Nokia was the very first mobile brand to setup customer care centres in Nigeria, and match these with a warranty service
  2. At mobile and tech events in the country, Nokia has been deliberate in being involved. Nokia was a sponsor at Mobile Web West Africa, and their senior personnel were present (RIM and Samsung were there too). Nokia managers were present at BarCamp Lagos this year. They were also present at the inaugural Mobile Monday meeting – and as active sponsors too.
  3. Nokia have been consistent in sending us press materials for publishing on Mobility Nigeria. RIM have sent in a few too, but they are not quite there yet. We have made contact with Samsung management, but till date they have not gotten back to us yet. Why should it be difficult for brands to get their news out where everyone can access it?
  4. I wrote an article early last year requesting that manufacturers send us review units on loan, so that we can review their devices and publish. Till date, only Nokia have responded and sent us any devices. We are not asking that anyone give out phones for free. Loan phones for review is all we ask for. I have personally decided to stop spending money on buying phones for reviews. It is an expensive exercise that I undertook for years – 59 mobile phones at the last count. I did it while I considered it expedient. It is fair to expect that if a brand is serious about visibility, they should invest in it and not have someone else pay for it.
  5. Nokia has been investing heavilly in supporting developers with tools and training. yes; Samsung held a developers’ competition last year, but they haven’t been as engaging as Nokia has been.

In all, it is easy to see why Nokia has so much visibility in the Nigerian mobile space, and hence on a site like Mobility Nigeria. Too easy.

The $2m Question

The $2m question is, Why are the other mobile brands not engaging more?

For example, it is not that sending out press releases by email costs an arm and a leg. Our general reviews are also free (we also offer sponsored reviews, which is a different kettle of fish), so if a brand sends us a phone to review over a period of two (2) weeks, it is at almost no cost to them.

Local players

While Android does not have Google’s official support in Nigeria, we have a number of local (and global) brands who are pushing Android devices. Because they support their devices, we have been actively canvassing for them.

But note too that though we have asked local brands to send in loan devices for reviews, press releases and the like, till date, not one of them have done so. How difficult is it to send out press releases via email? Is it unfair to ask that they provide a unit of their choice devices on loan for review?

In the same vein, we have asked local developers to send news of their works so that we can give them coverage. Only one developer has done so till date. One.

My Conclusions

What conclusions? I’ll leave the conclusions and comments to our readers. Judge for yourselves. In the meantime, the doors of Mobility Nigeria remain open.

READER COMMENTS

We love to hear from you - your opinions, insights and experiences with smartphones and other gadgets. Be a part of Mobility Arena's active community by sharing a comment below if comments are enabled for this page.

14 comments

  1. Its in Black&White and this is how it operates every where.

    You cannot review what you do not have.

    Manufacturers should do things the right.

  2. Hnnmmm…. I have a relative that works with samsung. I was surprised when he told me the other day they had parties for lunching one of their samsungchat phones. Artists were invited and paid millions, choice drinks were all on the house e.t.c. how much will it cost them to provide just one of such phones they lunched for review here? Absolutely nothing compared to such parties. And hey…the review here will help in spreading the goodies about the phone more.

    I have had to get a nokia c3 for a colleague before following review of one that Yomi got for his wife on this site. Well…. I think they will still come around especially now that mobile devices are taking over in Nigeria. More people are becoming particular about getting mobile devices with which they can do more even at reasonable price.

    With the high competition for market share…. I wont be surprised seeing Google and apple oppening up to nigeria before year end. Someone in fact mentioned on this site that he noticed somewhere google labelling their android apps in naira ….its starting already.

  3. Brilliant feedback.

    It’s generally easy to blame someone else for your failures when you are indolent. I believe that is the case with other OEMs, or probably afraid of critical review to hide ‘defects’ in devices from ‘semi-literate techy’ consumers.

    Keep the good work.

  4. What is going on is simple. We dont appreciate our thing. I’m sure those local manufacturers wont hesitate to provide a fone if it were a SouthAfrican site asking for it. We dnt appreciate hardwork and devotion. And sometimes, they are just plain lazy and dull to see d advantages.

  5. The simple truth is that,they have tons of issues to hide,and they have forgotten that, this site offers a lot more than the handset itself.carry go joo!

  6. No need to sweat on the issue. Remember its business, no matter how someone in mexico like ur product if ur company is nor ready to focus on mexico then sending materials there might be of no use.
    These conpanies are business guru and the have gurus thinking for them
    , so there are not ready to penetrate the nigerian market. We all know that Nokia has lost the US market and is also losing UK. It only makes sence to catch africa while its still young.

  7. Also they might be of the opinion that mobility nigeria is not honest enough, the same reasons some presidential candidate did not apear to face the panel.

    Mobility Nigeria is Nokia’s baby but its also business so no beefing. When competition becomes tough, Review sites may start buying / borrowin peoples phone for reviews

  8. A really timely article. What Nokia is to Nigeria cannot be over-emphasized. Nokia is like our first love. Having support for their devices in Nigeria is good. While other companies are striving to support the US AND EUROPE Nokia has remained through to us.

    Sometimes I even marvel at some nonsensical policies from manufacturers like Apple and others! Imagine supporting a poor country like Niger, while you deliberately ignore a thriving economy like Nigeria!?! Such Business antics beats me!

    I love Apple products like the iphone and ipad quite alright. I have even been mislabeled by some individuals on this site. But the fact remains that purchasing an Apple device is still astronomically expensive because of lack of official support in Nigeria.

    That is why Nokia triumphs. And that is why I agree completely in the policy MN IS going.

    And that’s why we MUST support Nokia in Nigeria. The are the absolute BEST in Manufacturer loyalty to customers in our country. And that is why you must buy a Nokia Device!

  9. @ afewgoodmen…. do you know in as much I dont do symbian…. I some how really feel compelled to own a nokia for the reasons you just gave. though ofcourse they make very functional and durable phones.

  10. as much as i love nokia..am gettin bored due to their lack of innovations..why on earth do they keep doin fixed focus cameras? All s40 phones are d same..no innovation..nothing! Doubt if my next phone will still be a nokia sha..

  11. as much as i love nokia..am gettin bored due to their lack of innovations..why on earth do they keep doin fixed focus cameras? All s40 phones are d same..no innovation..nothing!

    When I look at Nokia, I see superb autofocus cameras on a number of Nokia phones, so its not true that Nokia keeps doing fixed focus cameras. I see innovations like USB-on-the-go, FM transmitter, Quad-band frequencies, amazing battery life that’s rare to find from other manufacturers.

    S40 phones are low-end phones. Low-end phones from most manufacturers are not points of innovations. All low-end phones from Samsung, LG and others that I have seen are essentially the same too.

    What sort of innovations that you see on products of other manufacturers are you looking for?

    Lastly, why fixed focus cameras?
    Most people do not use autofocus well. I have handed my N8 to several people to take pictures with, and they just mess up the pictures because they don’t understand how to use autofocus. The average person does point-and-shoot. That’s where fixed focus cameras shine. Point at the subject, hit the key and that’s it. The average Joe gets better pictures with fixed focus than he does with auto-focus.

    Nokia has products that offer both autofocus and fixed focus, so you have options of devices to pick from. Do take a look at this article: Fixed Focus versus Auto-focus: Understanding the compromises involved

Have Your Say

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Discussions are moderated for civility