Entry Level African Made Devices To Hit Developing Nations

| December 31, 2012 | Reply

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It’s not very often we get Android news out of the Congo but an entrepreneur named Verone Mankou is looking to change that. Mankou has plans of releasing both an entry level smartphone and a tablet in the coming year to developing African Nations.

First up we’ll look at the phone which is called the elikia (translated: hope). This device won’t have any of us running out to get one, but obviously we aren’t its target group. The specs include:

  • 3.5 inch, 320×480 display
  • 650MHz processor
  • 512MB of RAM
  • 126MB of storage (expandable to 32GB via SDcard)
  • 1300mAh battery
  • Hotspot capability
  • Android 2.3 Gingerbread

Next is the Way-C tablet (translated: the light of the stars). Once again nothing to write home about here in the US but it still appears to be a serviceable tablet. This device will get the job done with average specs including:

  • 7 inch, 800×480 display
  • 1.2GHz processor
  • 512MB of RAM
  • 4GB of storage (expandable to 32GB via SD card)
  • 4200mAh battery
  • Android 2.3 Gingerbread

It’s not the specifications of these devices that are important, it’s the fact they exist in the first place. In many countries people don’t have home computers so it’s entry level devices like this that connect people in developing nations to the internet and the rest of the world.

Also this may sound crazy but these things could actually keep people healthy. There are a lot of places in the world where physicians are hard to come by or are too expensive. Enter telemedicine. There are pilot programs in many African countries that allow patients to be “seen” and obtain treatment consultations by specialists in less than 72 hours. Additionally, smartphones offer a lower-cost and more accurate way of collecting disease surveillance data in developing countries than traditional paper-based survey methods.

Another area in the developing world helped by these devices is agriculture. Currently there are apps that allow for farmers to broadcast product prices and locations to the world via SMS or helps diagnose and track the spread of crop diseases via crowdsourcing.

These devices will sell unlocked at around $300 for the Way-C and $170 for the elikia. Also aside from the Congo, these can be purchased in 10 other African Nations as well as France, India, and Belgium.

Category: Android News

About Joe Levin ()

Joe is a Boston based Android reporter his current devices include The Nexus 4 & The Nexus 7