By Faith Olaniran
Huawei, a leading global information and communications technology (ICT) solutions provider, launched the first smartphone 4Afrika Ascend W1, as part of its support for the Microsoft 4Afrika initiative which attempts to push Windows Phone sales in Africa, as well as have regional, locally-relevant apps developed for Africa.
Exclusively selected to help boost mobile accessibility and adoption within the fast-growing African continent, the Huawei 4Afrika will be available from Huawei, in Egypt, Nigeria, Kenya, Ivory Coast, Angola, Morocco and South Africa, It is expected to be available by the end of March and could help Microsoft grow its OS market share on the continent, amidst stiff competition from Android
The Huawei 4Afrika is a customized version of the HUAWEI Ascend W1, launched earlier this year at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show. The smartphone is 10.15 mm thin and features a 4-inch IPS LCD 480 x 800 touchscreen with Zero-Gap Touch technology. With a 1730 mAh Li-Polymer battery and unique power saving technology, the Huawei 4Afrika phone provides up to 420 Hours of standby time and up to 560 minutes of talk time on 3G. The higher efficiency hardware design ensures power-saving up to 20%. It is powered by the high-end Qualcomm Snapdragon™ S4 MSM8230 dual-core 1.2 GHz processor and Adreno 305 GPU. Additionally, the phone includes a 5 MP Auto-Focus Camera and VGA Front Camera, and comes in an array of bold colours including blue, black and white initially and red to follow in the next couple of months.
Available exclusively for the African market, the Huawei 4Afrika phone features a customized Store in Store with a variety of applications and exclusive content including those built and designed by Africans for Africans. The Windows Phone 8 start screen allows users to customize the Windows OS Live Tiles with topics of personal interest, providing real-time updates unique to their needs. Assisting with all business requests on-the-go, the Huawei 4Afrika phone features Microsoft Office and Sky-drive for easy access to files. The Huawei 4Afrika phone marries great technology with a fashionable design, at a price that is right for its customers.
“The Huawei 4Afrika phone is a fantastic addition to our Windows Phone product line, and we’re particularly proud to be introducing it as an exclusive offer for the African Continent today as part of the launch of the Microsoft 4Afrika Initiative,” said Ali Faramawy, corporate vice president for Microsoft Middle East and Africa. “We believe strongly that improved access to affordable and high quality smartphones in Africa can have a strong impact on the continent’s overall economic development and competitiveness, and we are confident the Huawei 4Afrika phone will help deliver on this.”
Although there’s no official word on pricing yet, we gathered that it would be a very affordable smartphone with one source revealed that it could cost less than $180 (about N28, 000).