Qualcomm Inc and Bharti Airtel Africa have launched a cheap 3G smartphone meant for Africa costing just $53 (Rs 3,275) before taxes.
“The device will start selling from $53 subject to various governments levies and will be available at local retail outlets,” Airtel said.
The 3G new enabled phone has a memory of 4GB ROM +512 MB RAM with 32 GB external memory capacity.
In India, 3G-enabled smartphones start at around Rs 4,500.
The smartphone is powered with Androids 4.4 KitKat Operating System and has a 3.5” 320×480 HVGA TFT display. Other features of the phone include: a 1300mAh battery life, front and rear 3 mega pixel camera and a qualcomm dual core Central Processing Unit (CPU).
The smartphone is available in Seychelles, Uganda and Burkina Faso markets with 14 other Airtel Operating Countries expected to launch the mobile devices over the next few weeks.
Speaking about the launch of Airtel Red, Airtel Africa, Chief Executive Officer, Christian de Faria said: “Special attention was given to the device layout and the user interface to provide quick and simple access to services like Airtel mobile money and popular social media applications to our customers.”
The company is driving the new smartphone campaign to help accelerate data adoption in Sub-Saharan Africa, currently witnessing one of the strongest increases in mobile data use in the world. Experts suggest that mobile internet traffic across Africa will double between 2014 and 2015, and will see a 20-fold increase by the end of the decade.
According to Airtel, the company currently has the widest 3G network in Africa, with a presence across 17 markets. According to the June 2014 Sub-Saharan African Mobility reports, data usage in Africa is growing with 3G technology expected to become the dominant technology across Sub-Sahara region by 2017, outstripping 2G to become the region’s dominant form of mobile connection.