Samsung has partnered with Safaricom and M-Kopa Solar, the Pay-As-You-Go renewable energy firm that has for several years provided connectivity to rural homes across East Africa, to offer customers one of its latest low-end smartphones, the Galaxy A10s, for a bargain Kshs 60 per day.
The model, as can be seen from the choice of partners, is likely informed by M-Kopa Solar’s experience in the market offering gadgets like television sets, radios, lamps and solar panels at a daily fee payable through Safaricom’s mobile money platform M-Pesa.
The target market, as well, may be people that M-Kopa Solar has either targeted in the past or is currently targeting.
This is because while at face value the Kshs 60 per day sounds reasonable, in the long run, the smartphone being offered ends up being more expensive than if one just bought it from the shops straight away.
The Samsung Galaxy A10s became available in the country in September last year for a price of just under Kshs 13,000, bringing it face-to-face with devices from Chinese mobile phone giant Transsion Holdings from its Tecno and Infinix brands which dominate that price point.
Getting the A10s via this new arrangement that Samsung has struck with Safaricom and M-Kopa Solar means that by the end of the payment period, ideally a whole year (365 days) if one doesn’t pay off the remaining amount at any point, one will have paid Kshs 25,399. That is almost double the amount that one would pay for the device via an outright purchase.
Those interested in getting the “M-Kopa phone” can find it at M-Kopa outlets across the country as well as at Safaricom shops.
A downpayment of Kshs 3,499 is to be paid upfront. The daily Kshs 60 “credit”, which is what offsets the debt, is to be paid (via M-Pesa, of course, to the M-Kopa pay bill number) before the device can be used. Failure to pay the amount results in the device being locked by M-Kopa using Samsung’s proprietary Knox Guard system.
“The exception is that we will allow you to unlock your phone for 5 minutes so that you can make payment from your M-Pesa account,” reads part of the FAQs on the partnership.
The Samsung Galaxy A10s packs a 6.2-inch HD+ Infinity-V display, 2GB RAM, 32GB onboard storage, a 4,000mAh battery and runs on Android 9 Pie. Since the A10s in question is available via Safaricom, the tri-slot arrangement that sees it pack dual SIMs is discarded in favour of a single SIM and a microSD card slot.
The daily fee is not inclusive of any incentives in the form of airtime, SMS and/or data bundles. Users of the device have to buy those separately depending on their needs.
Header image courtesy: TechTrendsKE