G-Holdings, the official distributor of the G-Tide mobile handset line in Zimbabwe is set to launch its own local line of consumer gadgets in the coming weeks. Teaser adverts of the new gadgets are already appearing the in the local press.
We met with the G-Holdings CEO, Munyaradzi Gwatidzo, at the G-Holdings offices in Harare a week ago. Revealing the plans to launch the consumer gadgets line, Gwatidzo confirmed that the G-Tide mobile handsets have been a huge success and it only made sense to expand and introduce some locally branded gadgets for the market.
The new line of G-Holding gismos will all be branded with a ‘G’ prefix and include an all-in-one desktop, some notebooks, netbooks and a smart phone . Gwatidzo wouldn’t confirm the pricing but indicated there’d be different pricing levels for the different target markets. Probably means low income buyers can look forward to something here. Thankfully.
Until now, Nhava has enjoyed virtually no competition in their ‘local branding’ model of PC retailing so far, but that will change. There was a lot of negative talk in Zimbabwe after Nhava became the first Zimbabwean company to sell locally branded laptops. Most of it centered on whether the laptops were genuine or not. The Nhava CEO himself confirmed in an interview we had with him in May this year that they are involved in the electronic design and component assembly of the laptops. Of course we couldn’t verify this so we cannot say if true or not.
With G-Holdings launching its own line of local PCs, the issue of the PCs’ authenticity will definitely come to the fore again, and both Nhava and G-Holdings have a heavy brand promotion (cleaning) job on their hands.
The accusation from the market (especially the tech savvy and the widely travelled) is that the gadgets are not genuine. This is followed by the unbranded electronics accusation: that all Nhava (and now G-Holdings) does is buy unbranded laptops and desktops from China, slap on local label on them and start claiming they’re selling locally designed gadgets . The fact that unbranded electronics wholesaling is big business in China doesn’t help them much.
Whether buying unbranded laptops and reselling them with local brand is a bad thing is another long discussion for another day. And like the G-Tide authenticity story (another long one on its own), at the right price, most of the users don’t really care. To them a phone is just a phone; If it can play mp3s, take decent photos, take in 2 sim cards and come at an ultra low price, who cares what your definition of genuine is.
We are curious what your opinion is on this. Please share in the comments section below.
Here are a few photos of the gadgets you should look out for from G-Holdings: