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Feature phones are essential to disconnect during this festive season


Despite Kenya having a very high smartphone penetration, feature phones are still dominating the market. In fact, according to statistics from the Communication Authority (CA), feature phone subscriptions stood at 32.9 million in the year to June, representing 55.1 per cent market share. 

One of the biggest players in this phone segment is HMD Global. In fact, globally, the Nokia phone maker holds 30.7 per cent of the feature phones global market, with a 22.4 per cent increase in volume from the previous quarter according to IDC. 

Over the last few years, the company has been releasing several interesting feature phone models including traditional flip or slide phones that have additional features like GPS or a hotspot. These phones feature new designs, very vibrant colours, and larger battery capacity which most consumers prefer.  

‘’We have seen very good adoption with our feature phones’’ Joseph Umunakwe, the HMD Global’s General Manager – West, East & Central Africa told me in an interview.

‘’At HMD Global, we are focused on creating value by lowering the point of entry and driving affordability. We have also partnered with several international partners to push down the price of feature phones’’ he added. 

And with the festive season now here with us, feature phones could provide a way for you to disconnect from constant notifications and distractions and focus on the present moment. It might be tempting to of course flash out your Kes.40,000 phone at every chance to see what Kenyans on X are saying but how about some little disconnection to be with family? I mean, this could also help you reduce the amount of time you spend staring at your screen every day.

2023 was not an easy year for most people and by switching to a dumb phone, you can still stay connected with friends and family, but without the constant temptation to check social media or browse the internet or even well, your emails. For people in my space, switching to a dumb phone might sound like a bad idea but well, it’s necessary and the Ksh.2,500 Nokia 105 sounds like the perfect feature phone just for this. I should be picking one this week.

With a 25% bigger battery and the durable design quality you expect from Nokia devices, the Nokia 105 is a phone  I can rely on daily during this festive season.  

The thing is, feature phones will never completely replace smartphones but for those who are looking for a simpler, less distracting way to stay connected during this festive season, these phones offer an appealing alternative. 

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