Safaricom’s locally made smartphones to be ‘30pc cheaper’

Saturday January 27 2024
smartphone assembly line

The East Africa Device Assembly Kenya Limited started operations in October 2023 and is run as a joint venture between Safaricom, TeleOne, and Jamii Telkom. PHOTO | POOL


Smartphones assembled at the Safaricom factory in Athi River, Kenya will be up to 30 percent cheaper than imported ones, the giant telco has announced.

Safaricom Chief Executive Officer Peter Ndegwa said the discounted pricing will help the telco to increase uptake of 4G-enabled phones in the country and help grow its revenues from the data business.

“Our objective with local assembly is to hit price points that allow customers to afford those phones rather than start to make lots of money from a business of assembling phones,” he said in a published transcript from a call to investors in November. “Our expectation is not to make significant amounts of money on the actual device assembly, but to benefit customers downstream, and therefore increase our ability to monetise that through our existing business.”

Read: Smartphone plant roars to life as Safaricom asks for subsidy

The phone assembly plant, known as East Africa Device Assembly Kenya Limited, started operations last October and is run as a joint venture between Safaricom, TeleOne, and Jamii Telkom. The plant can produce about three million devices per year, with room to increase the number depending on demand.

Mr Ndegwa said the plant targets to export to the East African region and extend production beyond phones.


“Beyond producing 4G-enabled devices, we can also start to assemble other devices, like the CPUs (central processing units) that are used at home and a variety of other devices,” he said.