By Emeka Aginam
While substandard GSM phones still flood Nigerian IT market battling for market share withoriginal brands, despite regulations by relevant authorities, demands for fairly used phones especially from United Kingdom have continued to be high in the major ICT markets in Lagos State.
A close monitoring of activities in major ICT markets in Lagos including GSM Vllage, Computer Village among others last week by Vanguard Hi-Tech showed that high demands for fairly used phones was as a result of their relative low price and the impression high quality ..
Although buyers, especially high income earners still buy new branded phones like Nokia, HTC, Samsung, Sony-Ericson, further findings revealed that most buyers believe that majority of new branded phones in the market are substandard.
Even with many fairly used phones coming into the Nigerian market from other countries including China, further findings also revealed that demand fro UK used phones is on the high side because of what many buyers described as ruggedness.
However, one thing that most buyers may not know about fairly used phones, according to experts is short life span .
“Now, tell me why i should buy new phone that are substandard. Just tell. I prefer buying UK used phone than to buy new phone which may have been refurbished or counterfeited. This is because it is difficult these days to separate new phones from refurbished ones. You can never know unless you are selling phone or phone repairer.” Reuben Okoli, a young man who said that he is in third year reading Mass Communication at the of the University of Lagos.
According to him, many students prefer used UK phones not mainly because of cheap price but because of originality.
For Kenneth Obiora, a trader at GSM Village Ikeja, demand for used phone is high compared to new ones. “Many users have this believe that a UK phone may be UK will be stronger that a branded phone which may even be China made. Price is a factor but perception of buyers on roughness of used phones cannot be ruled out” he said.
“I can tell you that UK used phones are a hot cake in this market. The moment these used phones arrive market, many retailers will just hurry up to buy it. That is what is happening here. But new phone has a category of market too. Some high income earners prefer new phones.
It would be recalled that the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) directive condemns e-waste from developed economies of the world as thousands of e-waste make their way from the most developed countries, including the UK, to dumping grounds in Africa, including Nigeria..