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Huawei launches Africa-only smartphone

05 February 2013, 09:42

Nairobi - Technology manufacture Huawei has launched a Windows phone exclusively for Africa.

According to a BBC report, the Chinese manufacturer has launched the device in partnership with Microsoft to reduce the cost of smart devices across the continent.

"Our aim is to be the most affordable Windows phone in Africa," said Gustavo Fuchs, director of Microsoft Windows Phone division in the Middle East & Africa.

Though the device will initially be available in SA, Egypt, Nigeria, Kenya, Ivory Coast, Angola and Morocco, the company was focusing on major African markets SA and Nigeria.

"At first we are making the product available across the southern market," said Fuchs.

"We're looking at the biggest channel for each country. In South Africa, it's operator-led, in other markets like Nigeria and Angola there's a mixed environment and in the Ivory Coast they are only sold at retail," he added.

The device will be a customised version of the Huawei Ascend W1 which has a 10cm touch screen and 5 megapixel camera.

Huawei said that smartphone penetration rates were low in Africa despite the company's success in Kenya with the 858 budget device.

The company will also support local content development as well as wireless broadband in the Rift Valley.

"Affordability is important but without the right local content we believe a lot of users will not see the benefit in the change from a basic feature phone to a smartphone," said Fuchs.

- News24


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