Microsoft has announced a partnership with Huawei, a Chinese manufacturer known for its lower-end smartphones, to produce a budget-friendly Windows Phone handset for Africa called 4Afrika. The smartphone will only cost $150, and will be launched in seven countries, with more to follow. The handset will be first introduced in Cairo, Nairobi, Lagos, Abidjan, Ivory Coast, and Johannesburg.
The Huawei 4Afrika handset is the first of the series Microsoft and the Chinese manufacturer have planned, part of its 4Afrika Initiative. According to the announcement, the Huawei handset has been designed specifically for developers, small businesses, and for students, offering them an affordable handset available in blue, red, black, and white.
The 4Afrika is a version of its Ascend W1 handset, offering a dual-core 1.2GHz Snapdragon CPU and 4GB of internal storage space. The display is 4-inches with a resolution of 480 x 800, and the case is only 10 millimeters thick. The handset is said to have a high standby time of 420 hours due to integrated power-saving technology.
Demand for smartphones in Africa has been increasing steadily over the years. Microsoft International's President Jean-Philippe Courtois offered this statement. “We believe there has never been a better time to invest in Africa and that access to technology — particularly cloud services and smart devices — can and will serve as a great accelerator for African competitiveness."