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Sony Ericsson forays into Kenya

NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 1- Mobile manufacturer Sony Ericsson has announced its entry into the Kenyan market as it seeks to grow its African Business.

Sony Ericsson has appointed Krishna International to be its distributor in the region while mobile operator Safaricom will serve as its retailer.

Country Manager Jonas Gronqwist said on Tuesday that the company aims to capitalise on the mobile phone boom in the country as well as introduce internet-enabled phones that will enhance internet penetration.

“If you look at the Kenyan market there are more mobile phones than fixed lines; the internet penetration is going straight up. I believe the possibilities are enormous for the coming two to three years,” Mr Gronqwist said.

Sony Ericsson General Manager for Central Eastern Europe, Middle East & Africa Jorgen Berg said the company aims to capitalise on the mobile phone boom in the country as well as introduce internet-enabled phones that will enhance internet penetration.

“We need to have a humbled approach to the market and remain committed and respond to the needs of consumers in this market,” Mr Berg said.

Sony Ericcson is not new to the market having been at the forefront of the mobile phone revolution in the early 2000’s with the Ericsson brand. They however found the going tough before partnering with Sony in 2001.

Since then individuals have distributed the phones in the market.

Mr Berg said Safaricom, which has 32 retail stores spread across the country would be able to give its phones wider reach.

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“In my mind we have partnered with a dynamic retailer that is driving the future of data and handset penetration in the country,” he said.

Safaricom Head of Retail Morris Maina said increased availability of internet-ready devices would enable customers to take advantage of the country’s best data infrastructure that Safaricom has put together.

“The quest for increased data penetration and usage in Kenya has always been constrained by lack of breadth when it comes to data-enabled devices in the market. Our partnership with Sony Ericsson snugly fits into this active strategy,” Mr Maina said.

Krishna International Managing Director Venkata Dinesh said: “With the growing importance of the East African region, we are committed to reinforcement of the Sony Ericsson brand and grow its portfolio.”

With the partnership, the manufacture launched its Xperia X10, Xperia X10 Mini and X10 Mini Pro smart phones based on Android Technology into the market.

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