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Huawei Chinese Telecoms giant, Huawei, with operations in Nigeria and around the world, has partnered with Microsoft, to make available a 4Afrika phone, at $150 (N23,000). This will launch first, in major cities of seven African countries, including Lagos, before Huawei introduces it, to cities in other countries. The phone is targeted for students, developers and small business folks who will need to have the experience, but cannot afford major devices with the Window 8 software. The phone has a 4-inch 480 x 800 display, dual-core 1.2 GHz Snapdragon processor, front and rear-facing cameras, and 4GB of internal storage—all squeezed into a 10 millimeter-thin case. It has a built-in power saving technology, providing 420 hours of standby time. It will come in white, black, red and blue The President of Microsoft International, Jean-Philippe Courtois, talked about the choice of Africa, saying, “We believe there has never been a better time to invest in Africa and that access to technology—particularly cloud services and smart devices—can and will serve as a great accelerator for African competitiveness.” Gustavo Fuchs, Director of Microsoft Windows Phone division in the Middle East & Africa, also said, that, “Our aim is to be the most affordable Windows phone in Africa. It will initially be rolled out in seven countries, Egypt, Nigeria, Kenya, Ivory Coast, Angola, Morocco and South Africa. The phone will be marketed depending on the retail climate of those individual nations.” “At first we are making the product available across the southern market. 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 continued, “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. If you look at current penetration compared with the US or Europe, which is around 50%, in Africa the average is very close to 10%, less in some parts.” “The 4Afrika Initiative should make tens of millions of smart devices available across the continent in the next couple of years,” he concluded.

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This article was first published on 5th February 2013 and updated on February 12th, 2013 at 10:46 am

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