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Long-life smartphone enters Kenya`s market

By , ITWeb
Kenya , 22 Mar 2012

Long-life smartphone enters Kenya`s market

A manufacturer of a 60-day battery life handset aims to sell its product to Kenyans, who are frustrated with smartphones` notoriously short battery lives.

“Mi-Fone”, a Hong Kong-based company, has been active in Kenya since 2008 and it was the first company to introduce a “Facebook phone” in the East African nation, two years ago.

The manufacturer is now set to unveil what it says is its “60-day battery life” phone, which costs $50, for the Kenyan market in the next two months.  

Smartphone popularity has significantly increased in Kenya. Huawei, for example, claims it sold more than 130 000 of its Ideos handsets in the country last year.

Local and international applications have also driven up the demand of Internet-enabled phones, as the country, for example, was the first in 2007 to develop M-Pesa, the popular mobile payments system that is now available in African countries such as Zambia and SA.

However, as people use more mobile applications, the battery life of their smartphones become shorter. Samsung Galaxy Mini`s battery, for instance, lasts 12 hours, according to the company`s specifications for the device.

Mi-Fone says its low-cost 60-day battery life device will be data-enabled, with a touch-screen and a keypad.

“Our job is to give that person a device for $50 or less, while still giving him an experience just like any other data-enabled phone does,” said Mi-Fone chief executive Alpesh Patel. “Our only difference is that we offer affordable prices. We give you a Chinese price, but not a Chinese phone.”

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