Well, Jumia did not keep potential customers waiting for too long. Last week we previewed the G-Power, the mid-range budget smartphones from Huawei and detailed how Jumia has the franchise to deliver the phone to Nigerians. The sticking point was placing the phone on pre-order without informing the public how much it was going to cost.
Here is a brief look at the specifications of the phone again:
- Display: 5-inch , 720×1280 IPS display
- Processor: MediaTek MT6735P (64-bit 1.3GHz quad-core)
- Memory: 2GB RAM, 16GB ROM
- Operating System: Android 5.1 Lollipop
- SIM: Dual
- Camera: 13MP auto-focus rear camera with LED flash, 5MP front-facing camera
- Battery: 4000mAh battery with fast charging, reverse charging
- OTG support: Yes
Now the G Power is live on Jumia. With just N46, 500, you can get this gadget. Not only that, according to Jumia, ordering the G Power from their website would also entitle you to a Bluetooth Swan speaker worth N11,500! At that price, that must be some good Bluetooth speaker. I think my colleague Timothy Maxwell should review that speaker so we know the real value of the gadget Jumia is graciously giving out to its local customers.
The next thought that came to my mind, as a typical Nigerian, was how about subtracting the cost of the speaker from the price of the G power. You know to bring the cost down to a manageable N35,000. I do know many people would feel the same way about that speaker. But apparently, with or without the speaker, the G Power is still N4000 short of 50k . I guess both Jumia and Huawei know Nigerians would not be falling over themselves to part with 50K for a mid-range MTK device.
We have actually being spoiled for choices I am sure. There are many people who do a lot of comparison between products, they would rather buy the Gionee M5 mini. That is a smartphone with almost identical specs with the G Power, even right down to reverse charging and a 4000mAh battery. And the cost? A little under 30k when it landed in Nigeria a while back. That is the price Nigerians have come to expect from budget phones.
One hopes this would not turn out to be like the Tecno Phantom 5 debacle. A high end phone with all the right specs. But the price spoiled it for customers. People felt 80k for an MTk smartphone just did not not make economic sense. Even if the phone had everything top end smartphones have.
As for the G Power, people in the know claim the phone could have being priced far lower than that. But it was finally agreed that to break even, the falling value of the Naira against the Dollar needed to be taken into consideration. If that is the case, Nigerians should brace themselves to start paying more for those cheap but awesome phones from China.
This invariably means that 2016 is going to be a bad year for phone retailers. It would take a bit of time before our collective psyche can adjust to the shock of paying almost double for new phones.