TECNO to launch sub-$30 smartphone next year

By Tom Jackson, South Africa

Device manufacturer TECNO Mobile is planning to launch a smartphone next year that will cost less than US$30, as it looks to remove the barriers to smartphone ownership in Africa.

Asked at the AfricaCom conference in Cape Town whether there would be a sub-$30 smartphone arriving in Africa in the next year, Arif Choudhary, vice president of TECNO Group, said there would be, with his company one of those developing one.

No date was given for the launch of the phone, but Choudhary said it was part of TECNO’s strategy to provide low-cost data phone in order to encourage uptake.

“Since TECNO is focusing on Africa, we have tried to bring our low cost, affordable data phone to the market,” he said. “Every month in Nigeria we can shift 1.3 million to 1.5 million devices. If you look at the holistic picture it starts from the cost.”

Choudhary said, however, that TECNO was not totally focused on smartphones, with feature phone still forming a sizeable part of its product offering.

“For the feature phones we try to bring a smartphone feeling, but at an affordable price,” he said. “It’s a feature phone, it’s a feature phone price. But it’s coming with a lot of smartphone content. That makes the consumers enjoy a smartphone feeling on our feature phone.”

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