Android and Safaricom Goldmine

 

 

Ever since mid 2010, Safaricom has been selling a plethora of android based handsets most of them unlocked and at subsidized rates. The latest handset to be pimped to the populace is the Huawei ideos retailing at 8499/- bundled with 1000/- airtime and 600MB of data. A good deal anyway you splice it. This has put the android platform in the hands of many who can be easily convinced that android is a European vegetable. Android1

 

The android sdk, scratch that the ENTIRE OS is free, opensource and is now running hundreds of thousands of Kenyan phones already and many more are in the waiting line. Despite all these inherent advantages to the ecosystem and am yet to see a locally made app that solves an inherently Kenyan problem. A local news app, traffic jam app, overlapped app, NSE live data feed app, foursquare style app for showing which club is happening, beer prices mapped app, an app that shows the rates of any business/provider from zuku to kplc to Nairobi hospital, e.t.c the list is endless an I don’t think its that hard to code (not a coder and hate debugging).

 

This is why I believe all this rhetoric about Safaricom being an evil company is misplaced and misdirected. They are here to make money and helping a random developer make money is not in their manifesto. They have created the ecosystem, a user base and a 3g network to boot. Where are the apps? What more do local developers need?