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Intel & Safaricom introduce low cost android smartphone in Kenya

Intel Lexington launch

Intel Lexington launchIntel and Kenya’s largest mobile operator, Safaricom,  announced yesterday the introduction of a low cost Android smartphone in Kenya. Called Yolo, the entry level phone will cost 10,999 Kenyan Shillings (about US $127). Like recent offerings by competitors in emerging markets, the phone is dual SIM.

The phone is part of the Intel Inside Smartphones that the processor company announced earlier this month at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in the US. The platform, Intel says, assures Yolo buyers of “fast Web browsing, impressive multimedia capabilities and a great Android applications experience.”

The physical and inside specs:  3.5-inch touchscreen, 1.2GHz processor, HSPA+ modem support, Android 4.0.

The phone is not entering an Africa starved of low cost Android smartphones. It will compete with offerings from Samsung (Galaxy Pocket), Huawei (Ideos Ascend), LG (Optimus Me), ZTE, and a horde of Asian imitations priced lower  – typically below $100. So it may all boil down to Yolo’s better performance for any winning traction in the market. But then some early reviews of the new Intel Atom processor that the device is based concluded the experience is, in The Verge’s words, “lethargic”, so…

It’s pleasing still to see more low cost and (promised) high performance devices introduced in emerging markets. The increased choice will give competitors a run for their money, and we will surely result in improved quality even for the imitations.

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One thought on “Intel & Safaricom introduce low cost android smartphone in Kenya

  1. Are there not even cheaper G-Tides, G-Tel, china copycats phones around $50 or less with same offering browsingwise?

    $127k doesn’t sound cheap when u can get a fairly good original Samsung around that price

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