So when someone becomes technophobic, lazy or ignorant, behold a Zimbabwean enterprenuer will snatch the opportunity and make a living out of it, taking home more than $400 per month, for simply installing apps into your smartphone.
No mater how silly it may sound to all of the tech savvy people, believe it or not some people are now making a living simply because they can visit the Google play store, Itunes or Windows store on your behalf , then ofcourse charge you for the service.
By Marshal Saonga
A Young man we spoke to recently makes an average of $20 per day , working from First street and Goerge Silundika in Harare, multiplied by 6 days a week if takes off on a Sunday he is pocketing an avarage $480 every month, non taxed, meaning this young man is well within the poverty Data Line, beating teachers, Soldiers, police officers and some nurses as he laughs all the way to the bank, (if ever he has banked)
The application world has become a major interest with a large number of Zimbabweans downloading applications e.g Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp and Viber. All these applications are selling like hotcakes in Zimbabwe, the major reason being they are a tool of communication and very cheap to use for interaction purposes.
Application trading has become a big market and a source of income for most individuals and organizations, today on Facebook I also came across a poster of a company that sells the service of installing application on mobile phones and tabs.
Downloading an application on a mobile phone or tab using mobile data bundles is very expensive, especially facing network glitches it can take you $5 to download just 10mb of an application. This is because at times the network might have hiccups in the middle of downloading and you will have to restart again.
Chances of succeeding on downloading applications on mobile network data are very slim on the same note higher when using wireless connection. This is due to the fact that its so rare to have glitches when using a wireless connection and it cost less too. One has to simply visit the Play Store if it’s an android operating system and open a Google account or visit the Apple Store if its an iphone. Type in the preferred application name press the download button. After its finished downloading you can then install it by opting for the install option and you have your application.
The scenario and procedures change when you get into the streets, there is no need to open an account, or for you to start downloading anything. All a person needs is just their mobile phone and a $2 dollar note and the application installers will install the application that you are looking for. This takes a short space of time of about 3-5 minutes the application will be in your mobile phone functioning.
(Application Installers on First Street )
However they are some cases where it will take some time especially if the application installers do not have the application and they will have to download it first. The application which are usually available are Whatsapp, Instagram, Prey, Viber, Bibles, Twitter and Angry Birds , these applications will take you no time have in your phone because majority if not all the mobile application installers have it.
Having such results has led to too many people opting to have their mobile phone applications installed by app vendors who are located on the side of pavements in 1st street outside the Econet shop and also at Copacabana.The motivation behind this is that it is cheaper and much quicker for someone to install an already downloaded application than it is to start downloading from scratch on slow data bundles package.
Application installers have become mini app stores in connection with mobile users being charged $2 to just install Whatsapp. I had a conversation with one mobile application installer in Harare 1ST Street outside the Econet shop where they aggressively market their service, he said, “the market is very much alive and vibrant because a lot of phone users pay for application installation because it’s cheaper and saves time to install rather than downloading using mobile data bundles.
The problems being faced by Application vendors are as follows:
The police force arrests those vendors who stand by the pavement side selling installation services, reasons behing this is that it is illegal to offer such a service without a license and certificate of trade.
Of-course like any other street hustlers, they are also charged with obstructing of free movement in the CBD but they are not deterred, the price is worth it.
Application vendors face a big problem of competition, on one place there will be an average of 10 application installers and it’s now slowly becoming hard to breakthrough this tough competitive market for the new pawns , while the giants consolidates their space.
While by any means, this may seem to be a quick way to download apps into your phone, this exposes users to risks of mobile viruses or malwares since these street guys are not even aware of such vulnerabilities, risking your device.
Funny how people can really make a living out selling what they don’t even own, violating intellectual property but i guess to them its a hustlers world. While the streets are singing blues, this presents an opportunity for local mobile developers to start creating relevant apps and also cash in on the market.