Nowadays owning a cellphone is no longer a preserve for a few. The majority of Zimbabweans own cellphones of various brands. With a current 80% plus national mobile penetration rate, this has obvious direct impact to the mobile market.
The ICT minister Nelson Chamisa could be taken seriously for jokingly saying that back in rural areas (vava kutoteyesa mariva nemaphone ekudhara) literally interpreted old brick phones are now being used as mice traps in some rural areas.
The proliferation of mobile devices in Zimbabwe is largely credited to the information age which has made communication a daily need in contrast to a preserve for few, let alone a luxury need as it was in the previous years.
Buoyed by mass price slashes and competition from the indigenous players, the law of demand and supply has forced a mobile phone to become a much more affordable device in Zimbabwe.
The advent of fake phones has seriously impacted the market trends. With some users who completely cannot even distinguish the difference between a fake cellphone from an original one. Today these are the same people who are directly causing a market boom and also positively influencing the penetration rate!
Although we have one of the highest literacy rate in the world, Zimbabweans are still driving the fake products markets across sectors. Probably because the fake phones are much more affordable and at times they come with bells and whistles which the originals would never bother to cater for or maybe ICT literacy is a different subject altogether.
Some mobile phone buyers are quiet conversant of the difference yet out of their own will, they settle for the cheap fake phones which in my view is a good move so long as the buyer fully knows what he/she is pumping their own money to.
No matter which phone brand one uses, visiting a repair shop is inevitable. Cell phones do die and will always do so. Some phones by default are robust and reliable but due to human error they will still fail.
Dropping your cellphone on hard surfaces or accidentally in liquids will render it useless or maybe by chance recuperate it after a technical touch from the phone technicians.
Cellphones problems are not entirely caused by human negligence, some may just occur even after all due care has been taken. These could be caused by a manufacturer fault, like any product some cellphones can enter the market with a known problem and unfortunately in most African countries due to lack of close by, official distributers or resellers, we either ignore calls to return them or just can’t bear the whole process.
The question whether to repair or replace a cellphone is not only limited to the cost element. Most people would rather toss it away than to face all the repair troubles. Ofcourse this is another option especially if it’s cheaper to replace than repair but what if the data is priceless.
Some people keep very important documents in their phone`s internal memory storage. Unfortunately when Your phone dies, it dies with it also especially when it’s not stored in the memory card but the actual phone memory.
Some phones have large capacity storage (hard drives) stashed with personal files. These could be some very memorable family photos, short video clips or just the best snap shots from that wedding, birthday party, graduation or funeral. Such kind of data is priceless and yet at times you only pin your hopes on getting the phone repaired.
Contact numbers and messages seem inseparable with all mobile devices. Without phones, we are virtually paralysed as we are now force to heavily depend on their capacitated memory chips. No one really bothers to have a backup somewhere, and honestly keeping a physical diary with contacts seems to be an out dated culture nowadays, but it’s one of the best moves everyone should keep just in case.
There are many other forms out there to back up your personal files but for the sake of maintaining the scope of this insert, i will not divert into those for now. Nevertheless the importance of backup cannot be overemphasized
So when found between such hard place and a rock making the next move is imperative and takes an informed decision. It is also very discouraging to note that some phone problems even before initial attempts are not repairable.
Due to lack of back up parts and unstandardized phones, fake phones cannot be repaired easily or getting the parts to replace them is not is so difficult.. Some of the parts can either be fried on board making the repairs impossible.
Phone technician expert Ellington Tarenyika Muzadzi said that he comes across lots of different hardware faults everyday on mobile phones yet no brand is immune to failure but there are some known brands which are prone to failure.
Unfortunately most people would rather make a quick sale when their phone starts to show signs of trouble hence just passing on the problem to the next buyer but most of these problems are much easier to fix when they initially show rather than later on after serious effects.
If it’s a minor issue for a cheap phone just fix it, yet still a minor issue in big phones will cost you the same buying price for a small phone, fixing it is still a good viable option. While it can be a fake “zhingzhong” phone, save yourself the effort and simply replace it!