With MTN entering into the tablet business, it means the main player everyone has been waiting for has finally arrived. And it will help the industry. Why? Since MTN started the promotions and pushing the press release, Ovim tablet has sold better. We do not know why for certainty– but we suspect cost. Though foreign brands are developing the market and telling people what tablets can do, when it is time to make a purchase, people look for an affordable brand. So instead of the foreign brands becoming a threat, they are indeed helping the local players develop the market.
The next phase of tablet business in Nigeria has just started. The local guys are dreaming big. TechLoy reported few weeks ago that Encipher plans to release Inye 2 in March.
Fasmicro (parent company of tekedia.com) and Microscale Embedded followed immediately with planned release of their Ovim Plus and Ovim MiE in late April. Many corporate partners have placed orders ahead of the release because of the good cost. The companies have to bring more units of the present Ovim to meet demand. Though the Customs wasted time to market, the products are available now.
The tablet warfare will not be won by ad money, rather cost-efficiency. The discretionary incomes of most Nigerians will not support a N125,000 tablet when a new laptop sells below N50,000. You need to do better than laptop to penetrate the mass market as people remain very price-sensitive. Of course, unless you plan to serve only the bank CEOs and the top captains of the industry that can afford to transfer that cost to their companies.
The true battle will be fought this summer when all these local guys have all the new products in the market. They are coming with quality and great features that can compete with the foreign players. And they are affordable. We will see how it goes! But one thing is certain – as MTN advertises, it is helping the small boys spend lesser time explaining what the gadgets do and making more small sales. In that case, irrespective of what happens, everyone could benefit.
photo credit/ Inye 2 TechLoy, Huawei MTN/Techbrandreview
Ist Tablet from top is MTN Huawei, 2nd is Inye, 3rd is Ovim MiE, 4th is Ovim Plus