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Apple is one of the world’s leading technology companies, known for its innovative range of consumer electronics like the iPhone, iPad and Mac computers. Apple laptops, in particular the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, are incredibly popular globally and have a reputation for great design, performance and reliability.
Apple first started selling Mac laptops in the early 1990s with the first PowerBook models. Since then, Apple has continuously improved and updated its laptop lineup, focusing on slim and lightweight designs without compromising performance. The latest Apple laptops come equipped with fast solid-state drives, sharp Retina displays, powerful Apple-designed M1 or M2 chips and long battery lives.
In recent years, Apple has put more emphasis on laptops compared to desktop computers. Laptops now account for over 65% of Apple’s total Mac sales. The MacBook Air and 13″ MacBook Pro lines are Apple’s most affordable and popular laptop options. The higher-end 14″ and 16″ MacBook Pros cater more to professionals and power users.
Overall, Apple laptops are widely loved by consumers and have industry-leading satisfaction rates. Their premium quality and seamless integration with other Apple devices like iPhones and iPads make them the go-to choice for many buyers.
Overview of the Laptop Market in Kenya
The laptop market in Kenya has seen impressive growth over the last decade thanks to an expanding middle class and increased technology adoption. More Kenyans now own laptops for personal and professional use compared to 10 years ago. Students, working professionals, businesses, government institutions are key laptop users in the country.
As per research, the total value of the laptop market in Kenya was estimated to be $250 million in 2021. This reflects a compounded annual growth rate of 12% from 2016. Here is a breakdown of some key facts about the Kenyan laptop consumer landscape:
- 1.2 million laptop units were shipped to Kenya in 2021. Laptop penetration rate amongst households is now over 15%.
- Average selling price of new laptops ranges from $250 for entry-level models to $1500+ for high-end options. Refurbished/used laptop imports are also common.
- Top brands include HP, Dell, Lenovo, Apple with combined market share of ~60%. HP leads with 25-30% share.
- ~30% of laptop sales happen in Nairobi though other major urban centers like Mombasa, Nakuru, Eldoret are growing.
- eCommerce is playing a big role with ~40% laptop sales happening online in 2021, especially through Jumia, Kilimall and MyDawa. Offline retail chains like Hotpoint Appliances and Computer Pride are also key distributors.
The rising demand for laptops in Kenya is tied to growth in mobile and fixed broadband access, better availability of electricity, and development of modern office spaces even in small towns. More university students also prefer owning personal laptops for their studies compared to a decade ago. Business process outsourcing, freelancing, remote work and digital content creation are additional drivers of laptop uptake.
The Covid-19 pandemic provided a short-term boost to laptop purchases in 2020 though supply chain disruptions led to product shortages. Going forward, analysts expect the Kenyan laptop market to keep growing steadily driven by an expanding tech-savvy middle class. Average sales prices are also expected to decline making laptops more affordable. This presents an opportunity for players across the value chain from distributors to retailers.
Top Apple Laptop Models Available in Kenya
As a leading global technology brand, Apple offers some of the most premium and sought-after laptops even in the Kenyan market. For buyers looking for top-notch build quality, performance, displays and battery life, Apple laptops like the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro are go-to choices albeit at higher price points compared to Windows laptop alternatives.
Here is an overview of popular Apple laptop models commonly available for purchase in Kenya whether online or through authorized resellers:
The MacBook Air is Apple’s slimmest and most portable laptop perfect for everyday basic tasks. Key features:
- Thin and lightweight aluminum chassis available in Gold, Silver and Space Gray
- Stunning 13.3″ or 15.5″ Retina display with slim bezels
- Latest Apple M1 or M2 chips deliver blazing fast performance
- Up to 18 hours battery life on a single charge
- Starts with 256GB SSD storage and 8GB RAM
- Touch ID fingerprint sensor
- Magic keyboard with comfortable key travel
- Force Touch trackpad
- Two Thunderbolt USB-C ports
The 13″ MacBook Air starts at around $1,000 in Kenya depending on specs and retail source making it the most affordable Apple laptop option. Students can often access discounted education pricing. Overall, buyers get an incredibly thin yet powerful laptop with excellent portability.
MacBook Pro 13″
The 13-inch MacBook Pro adds more performance power and ports vs the Air. Key specs:
- Same slim unibody aluminum chassis and Retina display as Air
- Faster M1 or M2 processors and up to 32GB RAM option
- More storage capacity up to 2TB SSD
- Touch Bar with Touch ID instead of function keys
- Four Thunderbolt 3 USB-C ports
- Magic Keyboard and Force Touch trackpad
- 10+ hours battery life
Pricing is similar to the 13″ Air starting around $1,200 in Kenya. The additon of the Touch Bar and extra ports make it appeal more to business/professional users.
Where to Buy Apple Laptops in Kenya
Apple does not have an official retail presence in Kenya meaning customers need to rely on authorized resellers and carriers. Over the past decade, the availability of genuine Apple laptops has gradually increased especially in Nairobi though supply constraints and higher prices vs other brands remains an issue.
Here is an overview of the main channels for buying MacBooks and other Apple laptops in Kenya:
Purchasing online is the most convenient way to buy Apple laptops and have them delivered countrywide often with decent discounts and payment plans. Reputable online stores include:
- Jumia Kenya – The leading ecommerce site sells various MacBook models through its Apple store at competitive pricing. Other benefits include free home delivery countrywide, ability to pay in installments with cards or Lipa na Mpesa, and 14 day free returns.
- Buytec.co.ke – A fast growing online computer shop that also stocks electronics including Apple laptops. Competitive pricing with reliable delivery options.
- Kilimall – Another top online shopping store with a dedicated Apple section offering laptops, iPads, accessories etc.
The major risk of buying online is potential counterfeits though leading sites have guarantees and screening processes. Checking user reviews can also help ascertain authenticity before purchasing.
Physical Stores in Nairobi
For buyers who prefer an in-person purchase experience, there are some credible options within Nairobi though prices tend be higher than online. These include:
- Apple Store Locations:
- ANISUMA HUB KAREN, HUB KAREN MALL, Nairobi, 0000.
- DIGITAL BOX – STORE, ELECTRONIC HOUSE.
- Buytec Stores Ltd:
- The Bazaar, Moi Avenue, Nairobi. 7th Floor, Crystal Suites, Suite 718. Contact: 0728997036 | 0787002000.
- Phone Grade Kenya:
- Revlon Plaza, 2nd Floor Shop No. 2, Biashara Street, Nairobi CBD, Kenya. Contact: 0703856989, 0723855382.
Availability of Apple Care+ Protection Plans which extend coverage beyond 1 year is still a work in progress locally unlike Europe or US. But leading resellers often provide a standard 1 year warranty plus aftersales support.
Prices of Apple Laptops in Kenya
A common concern amongst Kenyan buyers is that Apple laptops seem excessively overpriced locally compared to prices in Europe, Asia and even South Africa after currency conversion. In reality, a cost differential of around 15-25% does exist due to added import taxation, retail margins and forex effects.
But MacBooks have become relatively more affordable in Kenya in recent years especially with emergence of more competitive e-commerce sites. Here is a sample price comparison of popular models:
|MacBook Air M2 Chip
|MacBook Pro 13″ M2
|MacBook Pro 14″ M1
*Kenyan pricing varies depending on specific merchant, supply availability, laptop specs
**Base model pricing from Apple US website excluding sales tax
As the table shows, the latest MacBook Air M2 retails for around KES 100,000 equivalent depending on RAM/storage while a higher specced 16″ Pro could sell for KES 250,000. These prices are still over 10% higher than in developed markets even after exchange rate adjustment but the gap has narrowed considerably helped by competition amongst sellers.
Moreover, the perceived value, premium branding and resale value of Apple laptops result in buyers still being willing to pay the Kenya markup vs Windows alternatives with similar specs that retail for 30-40% cheaper. Instalment payment plans have also helped lower the initial cash outlay making MacBooks more accessible.
Going forward, increasing Apple adoption in Kenya whether amongst individuals or corporates should gradually improve supply chains and retail availability that will further reduce excessive pricing for discerning buyers. But MacBooks will still retail at a small premium over other brands reflective of their positioning as the gold standard for performance, design and user experience.
Tips for Saving Money on Apple Laptops
Despite increasing affordability, Apple laptops like MacBook Airs and MacBook Pros still represent major investment for buyers in Kenya even with current exchange rates. Prices of well specc’d models can easily top KES 150,000 or more from authorised sellers.
Here are some tips for getting the best deals and minimizing costs when purchasing your Apple laptop in Kenya whether as individual or business:
1. Buy During Sales Events
Major online stores like Jumia and Kilimall run monthly or holiday sales with decent discounts of 5-15% on Apple laptops that can translate to savings of KES 5,000 or more. Keep an eye out for these major sale event dates including:
- Black Friday – Late November
- 12/12 Sale – Mid December
- New Year Sales – Early January
- Valentine’s Day – Mid February
Jumia in particular tends to run weekly Apple promotions including free accessories like AirPods. So monitoring their site can help snag periodic deals.
2. Consider Refurbished/Used Models
Opting for professionally refurbished or gently used previous generation Apple laptops can trim anywhere from 20-40% off retail costs of brand new models. Reputable refurbished sellers online include Rellax World and Se Finite while used marketplaces like Pigiame, Cheki and Facebook groups are worth browsing occasionally for owner resales.
As long as used device condition is vetted beforehand, buyers can get solid value especially from say a refurbished M1 MacBook Air vs paying full cost for a new M2 model.
3. Use Education Store Discounts
Students and lecturers can access special pricing from Apple’s Education Store available online after verification. Savings vary but expect 10-20% off MacBooks which quickly translates into thousands of shillings.
The discounts also extend to iPads, iMacs and accessories. Well worth checking out before payment.
4. Split Costs with Payment Plans
Installment payment plans are now widely available across Online/Offline stores allowing buyers to split total device costs over say 6 or 12 months rather than full upfront payment. This greatly improves cash flow and eases the financial burden especially for premium devices. Most stores now accept cards and mobile money payment plans.
In summary, applying a combination of tactical online/offline shopping tactics can unlock meaningful cost reductions for Apple laptops that still assure buyers peace ofmind in quality.
The Future of Apple Laptops in Kenya
The prospects for sustained growth and adoption of Apple laptop devices like the iconic MacBook series remains strong in the Kenyan market over the next 5 years. Rising disposable incomes across middle class segments coupled with increasing tech savviness presents a lucrative opportunity for the Apple brand to entrench its positioning as the premium choice for professionals, enterprises and discerning personal buyers locally.
Here are some trends that showcase why Apple laptops will continue flourishing in the Kenyan consumer space going forward:
Continued retail expansion online/offline – Authorised Apple resellers will continue enhancing their footprints across major cities and online to ensure wider device availability and brand visibility. Jumia and Kilimall will be especially key distribution channels online. This will improve familiarity and after-sales support quality over the grey imports common previously.
More affordable pricing – Relative dollar exchange rates versus regional currencies and growing local assembly of laptops could exert downward pressure on end pricing making MacBooks relatively affordable beyond just the elite. Installment payment plans are also easing cash flow constraints.
Enterprise demand growth – The premium branding and user experience of Apple devices has resonated amongst employees of multinationals, banks, consultancies and agencies locally. IT decision makers are gradually adding Mac devices as supported hardware allowing professionals increased flexibility.
Education sector uptake – Programmes like Apple’s ConnectED and penetration of platforms like iTunes U and iBooks Author has boosted educational use of iPads and even MacBooks. More students are also purchasing Apple laptops for learning and content creation even at campus level as BYOD schemes become commonplace.
Enhanced software compatibility – Concerns around software compatibility between Macs and typical enterprise systems has inhibited B2B uptake before. But initiatives like Microsoft 365 for Mac and browser-based access for systems like ERPs has minimised this friction enabling easier enterprise integration.
In summary, Apple laptops like the MacBook Air and Pro is set to gain further foothold in Kenya over coming years as digital transformation initiatives across key economic sectors coupled with an expanding addressable consumer base create ideal conditions for growth.
- Apple laptops like the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro have seen growing adoption in Kenya thanks to their reputation for premium design, performance and user experience.
- The total laptops market in Kenya is now estimated to be worth over $250 million with over 1.2 million devices shipped in 2021
- Leading online stores like Jumia and bricks-and-mortar chains like Buytec drive most Apple laptop sales locally.
- Prices are still over 10% higher vs US or UK but the gap is narrowing aided by lower retail margins and favorable forex rates.
- Tactics like buying refurbished, payment installment plans and student discounts help buyers reduce Apple laptop costs.
- Continued enterprise demand, retail expansion and improving affordability will see Apple gain Kenyan market share over the next five years.