By Eunice Wawuda
The sale of high end gadgets went up by 25 percent in 2021 in East Africa compared to the previous year, driven by the Covid-19 pandemic as people adapted to remote working.
Latest Data from Salute iWorld, East Africa’s largest Apple reseller indicates that tablets took the highest peak in the period followed by laptops as the government urged citizens to stay at home to avoid further spread of coronavirus.
“Basket value grew 10 percent, especially driven by work from home measures and the need for IT solutions during the pandemic. Students were also studying from home and needed gadgets,” said Michelle Abuya, Senior Business Manager, Salute Holdings Group.
According to the report, Kenya is leading the East African market in demand for the high end IT products, followed by Uganda and Tanzania respectively.
The rise has also been attributed to the presence of expatriates as the country is a hub for multiple international organizations.
“Nairobi has the most developed tech scene in East Africa rivalling hubs like Cape Town, Lagos and Cairo,” she explained.
Going forward, the demand for the high end gadgets is expected to grow due to the increasing middle class and the demand for remote working as companies adapt to a hybrid work model.
“Some companies might allow every employee the flexibility to work on-site and remotely part of the week. Other companies might have employees working either full-time remote or full-time on-site. And others might allow a combo of the two,” she noted.
She said some of the new ripe markets for the penetration of IT products include South Sudan and Congo as demand continues to increase.
“With increasing demand in these markets, plans are already underway to set up shop in both Juba and Kinshasa in 2022,” she revealed.
Globally, laptop shipment went up by 26 percent in 2020 according to GSMArena statistics with revenue growing to $140.3 billion up $4.6 billion year on year.
“This year the revenue is expected to grow again, reaching $142.1 billion. The US will remain the largest market and will account for around $36.1 billion in revenue, followed by China ($19.6 billion) and Japan ($9.8 billion),” GSMArena says.
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