Several weeks ago (now months actually) we received the GTel A707 Infinity smartphone from GTel, a local mobile devices company. I was at their Harare HQ for some other business when the CEO of the company, Chamunorwa Shumba, offered that I take the phone with me, use it for a while, and possibly write our opinion.
We got pointed a few days ago to some biNu usage statistics that have been released by mobile platform Australian startup. The stats show the top 10 countries by usage on biNu as well as the top 10 apps in those countries.
The latest mobile subscriber stats from POTRAZ show that Zimbabwe now has a mobile penetration of about 64%. Really impressive if you consider that in 2009, the mobile penetration was just 24%. But every time that mobile penetration percentage is mentioned, there’s almost always need to clarify that the percentage may actually be misleading.
If you’re a civil servant in Zimbabwe, and one day you receive an SMS from G-Tide that you never subscribing for, you’re going to wonder how they got your number. Here’s how:
We came to know about biNu some several months ago when we wrote articles about eTXT. There was a lot of mention about it on our Facebook page. Readers compared it to eTXT and later Dasuba. The messaging component of biNu at least. I personally didn’t try biNu until 12 days ago, and what an impression it has left on me!
The stats we received from biNu are impressive too. biNu usage has grown rapidly in the country. According to the startup, just in the month of August 2011, biNu had in excess of 60,000 unique users, 1.9 million sessions and 22 million page views in Zimbabwe alone.
The brief thoughts we posted last week on the Nhava scandal generated a lot of interest and discussion around the originality of gadgets being sold in Zimbabwe. Just reading the comments today, we came across one by someone going by the name “chimwedzi”.
The comment gives some insight into what and who G-Tide Zimbabwe is. And because it’s buried in the second page of the comments on the article, we thought we’d post it here separately. The words have been pulled as is. We just paragraphed and spaced it a little to increase readability.
We met with the G-Holdings CEO, Munyaradzi Gwatidzo, at the G-Holdings offices in Harare a week ago. Revealing the plans to launch the consumer gadgets line, Gwatidzo confirmed that the G-Tide mobile handsets have been a huge success and it only made sense to expand and introduce some locally branded gadgets for the market.
I received a page suggestion yesterday to a not so usual Zimba page on Facebook. One that doesn’t hide it’s feelings for G-Tide. It’s called “I Hate G-TIDE Cell Phones”. First I thought well, negative campaigns are not new on Facebook but I’ll just check it out and leave. But then I looked at the number of fans and stopped a bit.
The page was created yesterday morning (Zim time) and by the time I viewed it in the evening, 51 people had subscribed. I visited it just now to find the fans had doubled to 111! No mean feat for a Zim page just 2 days old. The viral effect is working against the Tide here!
Vodafone yesterday announced the launch of two ultra low cost handsets targeted at consumers in the emerging markets of Africa and Asia. According to the Vodafone press release, the handsets (Vodafone 150 and Vodafone 250) will launch in the coming weeks in India and across Africa.
The Vodafone 150 will retail unsubsidised at below US $15 and the Vodafone 250, US $20, depending on the local market.
G-Tide, the makers of the locally popular G-Tide mobile phone launched their regional office in Harare on Wednesday at a ceremony held at the Crowne Plaza. The mobile phone appeared on the market about a year ago and has arguably taken up a significant slice of the mobile phone market in Zimbabwe.