Have you ever experienced a cellular gadget, be it smart or otherwise, and questioned its legitimacy, including how it mad its way to the country and store shelves thanks to questionable build quality and software hiccups? Admittedly, it has happened to many of us, and on some occasions, regulators have attempted to impose stringent rules in regard to their legitimacy. However, it is apparent that some of these efforts are, to say the least, unenforced. This is because some shops still stock counterfeit devices, which are bought with ease by unsuspecting customers.
Unfortunate buyers end up having a bad experience, and it is difficult to blame them due to lack of basic knowledge. However, the mere fact that you can still purchase these phones is disturbing, and we just hope a universal solution will be formulated as soon as possible.
Kenya’s ICT watchdog, the Communications Authority (CA) is taking another step in addressing some of the mentioned concerns. It should be noted that this is a different approach that hopes to set minimum requirements for cellular devices that should sell locally. In this case, the CA is reaching out to people to air their opinions about what specification a phone should be equipped with.
This is a good platform for the public to communicate issues they have had with gadgets, which encompass battery performance, hardware appearance and hopefully, software.
In my opinion, no OEM should ship a device without dated software. Ideally, these are manufacturers who have a grace period to out updates, and where new software goodies are not financially viable, monthly security updates are still critical. Save for a handful of high-end devices, most remain vulnerable to malware because manufacturers do not send patches in a timely manner. This is totally unacceptable in a world that continues to see increased cybercrime cases.
Other issues cut through battery life performance (low-end devices seem to have figured this out, although there is room for improvement), storage options (32 GB should be a standard by now, with at least 2 GB of RAM), as well as screen resolution (720p on the lower side). Also, manufacturers need to slow down on bloatware because no OEM has a right to choose applications for their users; that should be a personal activity.
The CA has also mentioned that it aligns its approval process for devices to international counterparts. However, the details of the process were not available to the public.
On the bright side of things, contributions from the public are intended to legitimize those standards.