Google reaffirms its commitment to bring affordable smartphones to Africa

Google has reaffirmed its commitment to making smartphones more affordable and accessible in Africa. This was made known in a statement by Mahir Sahin, Director, Android Partnerships Africa.

In the last 2 years, Google teamed up with manufacturers and telecommunication services providers and launched over 60 Android (Go edition) smartphones in 49 African countries.
This was as a result of their partnership with Safaricom. Kenyans now have the country’s most affordable smartphone, “Neon Kicka 4” retailing at KES 3,500 (USD ~35) at their disposal.

The move has allowed thousands of people to convert from an older feature phone to a smartphone – making it their first smartphone ever. Similarly, budget-conscious smartphone users in Nigeria can now purchase Android (Go edition) devices like the Tecno F1 or the Tecno Spark 2 which have become favourites amongst tech-savvy early adopters. In South Africa 3G and 4G Android (Go edition) devices offered by Vodacom come with digital packages that make streaming high-resolution videos faster and more affordable than ever before.

“With Android (Go edition) applications like YouTube Go and Maps Go, we have built our core services from the ground up to work better on slower networks even when you are offline. They consume fewer data and help people save money.
This week at AfricaCom in Cape Town, we will come together with many of our partners to continue working to bring the transformative power of the internet to more Africans than ever before,” the statement read.

Google has worked with various partners, the mobile network operators and device manufacturers from across the continent and globally.

“We listened carefully to our users who wanted faster devices and more storage in particular and created Android (Go edition). This configuration of the Android OS is optimized for entry-level devices and comes with a tailored suite of popular Google apps.
Android (Go edition) compliments our partners’ hardware innovations to overcome challenges such as limited storage space, battery life, lack of mobile data usage or device cost. We strive to bring the power of computing, access to the web and apps to everyone”

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Gbenga Ajao is a journalist. He has garnered experience in print, electronic and new media. He is passionate about mobile and web technology.

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