Top 10 Tech Trends Kenyans Will Be Looking for in 2011

2010 is gone and 2011 is here. Which technologies will we be looking for as Kenyan techies? They are varied and might not be the same but majority of these stuff just will be the same. Our pockets might not allow us to make long lines infront of shops during launches but we witnessed a near stampede last year during the launch of Nokia C3 sale.

We did research and came out with a list of gadgets which will still make us go-gaga. Here is the list.

1.  iPhone 4G. Forget iPhone 5

We will not look for iPhone 5 yet when it will come out. We will still be looking for iPhone 4. Orange Kenya which has the exclusive right to sell iPhones in the region depleted its stock of less than 500 iPhone 4 last year. I think they didnt see themselves selling it much but all-in-all, it was all sold out.

2. Tablets – iPad, Playbooks, Galaxies, Motorolas and Others

Netbooks are dead and Safaricom, Orange and Ebrahims doesn’t sell them as much as they used to. Everybody is going for the tablets and looking at the Galaxy Tab at the last Safaricom Open day, I saw a primitive machine. I am willing not to spend money on mediocrity but the UI, design and look of Galaxy Tab looks like kalongolongo (child’s play thing) to me. Samsung and Google must up their game. But I am among the minority who wont lower our standards. Many of the techies and consumers will but the tabs and Galaxy must go below the Ksh 50,000 mark to compete effectively with iPad. Selling Galaxy Tabs, Playbooks, and iPads at the same price range is an insult to the intelligence of our consumers.

Already a few CEOs here and there and media houses like Royal Media have their staff brandishing the tabs all over. NMG and Standard Group are left behind as always still carrying a heap of papers into newsrooms.

3. 3G, 4G, …………No Network

Zain when it was still Celtel promised us lots of stuff but the one which sticks out most was the constant promise to introduce the 3G. The promise has not materialised and at the last re-brand to Airtel, I asked Rene Meza, the MD, when exactly we will be seeing Airtel on 3G. he said “First Quarter of 2011”. Orange also promised us 3G by mid 2011. Yu say that 3G is not a priority and Safaricom is expecting to have 4G live soon.

4. Kinect, PS 3 with PS Move and Nintendo 3DS… Gaming Galore

I had a chance to test out the Microsoft’s Kinect for XBox 360 game system. The experience made me think deeply about my standards. I think I should raise them because Kinect is such a great. Sony just joined the bandwagon with PS Move. The Kinect has been criticised as missing the precision and inconsistent features.

5. 3D, HD and Digital TV Spectrums

What will happen. Will Smart TV settle the issue with broadcasters? Will the government extend the deadline for full digital TV adoption.

6. Number portability

Not much hope in this area but at-least we can give it a try. Imagine me having a 0722 line on Zain or Yu. How will it sound like. This will be a good thing but comes with lots of confusion. The average mobile consumer is confused. If I have 3 lines, how many credit load codes, customer care and balance check numbers do I have to remember? It is just crazy. So Mr PS. Tanzania implemented this well. Lets have a unified code in the country for all mobile phone recharge. Lets have same number to call customer care in whatever network I am in. Number portability adds to the confusion.

7. Payment Gateways

Nothing is working here. We don’t have a payment gateway online which is widely accepted. Most of the techies have been waiting for M-Pesa, Orange Money and Airtel Money to get their acts together and release their APIs. Orange promised us this but not much has been heard of this. What will happen. Will Safaricom take local techies seriously?

8. Microsoft Becomes Cool Again

We thought cool and Microsoft couldn’t be combined. We might be wrong because teh software giant did wonders on the last quarter of 2010. The trend might continue since Windows 8, Kinect and many other products might be coming from Microsoft. The company is getting its cool again.

9. Facebook Domination or Saturation

Will Facebook still dominate our net life? Will twitter get a worthwhile piece of the pie? Will we get into the Diaspora bandwagon? Will Google get its social touch? What will happen? I see Facebook here for the long haul and we might get into 3 Million users this year. The growth is impressive and I believe that we can see a growth of not less than 2 Million.

10. Digital Village

Dead or Alive? We are waiting for those mandated with the project to inform us what we need to do to get the country connected. But we know that our leaders would rather have us as fools. They wont like a powerful citizen. It is not our leaders only. Even the mainstream media is scared of a powerful citizen. We decide how we want to be governed, what we want to watch and how we want to recieve news.

What are your predictions?

Written by Robert

Robert Alai is a respected Kenyan blogger, technical evangelist, and social justice activist. Robert is known for his hard-hitting articles and opinions disseminated through his Twitter handle or Facebook page. he is the founder of KahawaTungu.

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