Nokia, the world’s largest handset manufacturer, is set to increase its investments in Kenya’s and East Africa’s mobile application development, by up to 25% compared to last year. This was said by Nokia’s Chief Executive Officer Stephen Elop, during his high profile tour, which will see him tour only Kenya and South Africa, out of Africa’s 57 countries.
“There is a reason I am not visiting the other countries in Africa, I am only visiting Kenya and South Africa,” Elop Said. This was during his tour of iHub, that saw him meet up to 50 local developers, and even present an award to the best application then, by Virtual City, a Kenyan firm. The investments will be in form of Nokia Research Center, one of its kind in the whole of Africa and Indian sub-continent. Other investments will go to helping local developers build Nokia applications, marketing and go to activities that will ensure success.
Currently, Nokia supports local developers by giving feedback on the quality of the applications, the user experiences, and exposing their applications to the world via Nokia Ovi Store. With the world’s giant in handset manufacture showing interest in the local development, it can only go a long way to show the untapped potential in the industry.
In 2010, IBM Tech Trend Survey predicted that development of mobile software applications for devices like Android and iPhone will surpass applications developed on other traditional platforms in the next five years, with their net sale earnings increasing exponentially. Kenya has not been left behind in this new trend, the reason behind attracting giants like Nokia. In a recent World Bank competition called “Apps for Development”, upcoming software developers from all over the world were welcomed to create applications, and Kenya Emerged 3rd to Uganda and Nigeria in applications submitted, more than Europe and North America.