If you live in Africa and are into technology or basically into digital related activities you must have discovered a popular and striking trend that’s pretty familiar among consumer choice for PC computers, especially windows computers. While there are quite a number of selects of the two popular computer operating system. Of course, here we are talking about Apple and Windows computers. Apple is one of the most powerful and successful tech companies in the world, with a total valuation on $1 trillion. In the Western part of Africa and typically all other parts of Africa, available are the popular computer operating systems Windows OS, Linux OS and the Macintosh OS.
Among these selections of operating systems available on the continent the most widely popular and generally used is the windows OS. Though the number of Africa’s online population is in the hundreds of million, most of these numbers are the younger generation and most actually access the internet via a smartphone or a tablet, when it comes to business and general mainstream activities such as banking, internet café businesses (called cyber cafes in Western Africa) hospitals and automated teller machines and tech companies in Africa, you would find out that most of these mentioned above mainly use Windows OS. This would explain why in Africa ninety percent of schools teach students computer studies using Windows Computers (this is evident by how everyone knows ‘Start’ button but only geeks know Mac’s ‘Cmd’).
Though the Macintosh computer is very much present there are certain factors which greatly affects the chances of the Mackintosh gaining traction in Africa. This seems to be in correlation to the android smartphone gaining more traction in Africa than the IOS. The digital revolution is slowly upscaling in Africa since the early 2000s and with the birth of technology institutions like Andela and the likes the rate of consumers and people joining the digital trend is rising in Africa and the choice of consumer electronics is important because it in a way shapes the way this digitalization is acquired. Here are the reasons why Windows Computers thrive the most in Africa.
Flexibility and compatibility of the Windows computers
Windows operating system is very much popular for its open nature source and flexibility. In Africa getting access to normally paid content as usually likened to western countries is not an easy feat. It is available but with issues like financial inclusiveness and lack of access to ubiquitous electronic banking, in Africa yes there is online payment but not everyone is tech savvy or have digital skills. Yes, tech is on the rise on the continent with countries like Rwanda breaking grounds by attracting foreign car manufacturing company Volkswagen. Not all African countries can attest to this kind of development, most parts such as towns and cities still struggle to access digital services.
Windows OS is open source and highly flexible. Other operating systems like the Macintosh is very much close source it’s nearly impossible to make it work in most parts of the continent. To pay for a service such as iTunes for instance would require a credit card and other similar settings and normal file sharing on the Macintosh OS is near to impossible. Windows OS supports third party addition of files which could be readily accessed from main parts of the OS like Groove music, Movies and TV and the likes. The Macintosh could do this but the level of flexibility to adapt to the tech-starved parts in Africa, the PC would not just be able to meet up. Apple computers are very wonderful and powerful computers but they very much rely on the kind of environment they are being used. Unlike the windows OS which is very much flexible and rather irrespective to environment.
Cost/Price of Windows Computers
Windows OS runs on many devices. Most of these devices are produced by major tech companies like HP, Compaq, Acer and the likes. These are very popular computer brands in Africa. Windows Computers are very much rampant on the continent due to their relatively cheap price. Macbooks are also available on sale but out of twenty people only one could be using a mac.
Apple products are very notorious for their exorbitant prices. Take for instance the MacBook Air has a price tag of $1,000 USD. That’s not something the regular masses can afford on a regular basis. There are also widely used products like the iPad for instance but in most cases the iPad is used to access mobile related services such as instant messaging, playing mobile games and taking pictures. Accessing PC related services would require one to purchase a Mac, most people would rather go for the Windows OS because its more readily available and easy to access.
Cost of Repairing Windows Computers
When it comes to fixing your PC from say a cracked screen or a faulty battery or even replacing your motherboard, it’s easy to say that this can be easily done on the Windows PC. This is so because its ubiquitous nature makes it very easy to get its spare parts and to get the repairs done, also, software related services like an infected kernel, or a corrupted drive can be easily fixed by regular repair shops.
Doing this on the MacBook is also easy but, in most cases, you find one ordering the needed spare part from another country via retailers like eBay or Alibaba. These factors can turn out to be stressful because in most cases they either arrive broken or a wrong material is delivered, not to talk of factors such as waiting time, shipping fee and delivery cost services.
Accessing Software of Windows Computers
As much as I don’t like to go here but getting a needed software on your Macbook in Africa could turn out to be rather difficult and even if you do you either find out your country is not supported or you will be charged a rather heavy subscription fee. Most people apply black hat means on the open source windows OS, which is also being monetized to access software and make these services available to people. Though this is not encouraged but it is very popular in Africa and these are important factors affecting the digital environment on the continent.
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