Power Consumption

Often discussed barriers to smartphone adoption include price of the phone, price of the data connection, and availability of data networks. Less often discussed, but just as important, how easily damaged a phone is, and how likely it is to be stolen (closely linked with price). Even less discussed, but arguably the most important, is access to power. When I was in Kenya a few weeks ago I asked one of my hosts about the village he grew up in, where most of his family still is. He told me that once a week a truck rolls through with batteries and that is the only time to charge their phones. No smartphone has a week long battery life. Even if I gave his family a phone and data, they still wouldn't use it much, because pretty soon the battery would die and they would have to wait a week to get a charge. Here, we grumble about solar chargers that take all day to charge a phone. In this village such a charger would be legendary for its ability to provide access to power every single day. Same product, completely different value.