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Microsoft and Huawei today unveiled a new Windows Phone designed specifically for Africa, one of the most rapidly-growing technology markets in the world.
The phone, called the Huawei 4Afrika, is the first in a series of smart devices being custom developed for the continent and released as part of Microsoft’s sweeping new 4Afrika Initiative, which also kicked off today. (Check out this blog post and website for more details.)
Designed specifically as an affordable option for students, small businesses, developers, and first-time smartphone owners, the Huawei 4Afrika with Windows Phone 8 will make its debut later this month in seven countries: Angola, Egypt, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, and South Africa. As you can see from these shots, it’s not only affordable but stylish—available in blue, red, black, and white.
Under the hood, the new phone is a variant of the Ascend W1, which we blogged about when it launched at last month’s Consumer Electronics Show. It sports a 4-inch 480 x 800 display, dual-core 1.2 GHz Snapdragon processor, front and rear-facing cameras, and 4GB of internal storage—all squeezed into a 10 millimeter-thin case. According to Huawei, the phone delivers a whopping 420 hours of standby time (that’s a tad over two straight weeks, folks) thanks to its built-in power-saving technology.
The phone also comes preloaded with custom apps created by African developers for African consumers and feature a market-specific store within the larger Windows Phone Store for downloading locally-relevant apps and content.
Maybe you’re wondering: Why Africa? As many observers have noted, interest and demand for smartphones and other enabling technologies is ramping up fast there. “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,” Jean-Philippe Courtois, president of Microsoft International, noted today in a statement. In addition, some analysts predict smartphones and other wireless devices will increasingly serve as the primary way most Africans access the Internet.
By the way, this isn’t the only Windows Phone making inroads in Africa. Windows Phone already has a strong presence in Africa with devices from HTC, Samsung, and Nokia. In fact, another part of this broad 4Afrika initiative is a joint Nokia and Microsoft customer training program in Kenya and Nigeria to help accelerate adoption of Nokia Lumia 510 and 620 phones. More than 90% of phones sold today in those markets are feature phones, so Microsoft and Nokia are teaming up to provide free in-store training for customers to help them get the most from their new Lumias and manage their new data plans.
If you live in Africa and already own a Windows Phone, let us know what you think!
That's a great initiative. It's just bad luck that the african country where my family live, are not in the first wave of countries where the phone is available. I have already sent a Lumia 800 and a Lumia 710 to family in Uganda and will keep an eye out for this phone. If anybody knows, any idea on price? And whether that phone will be unlocked? And also be a dual-SIM phone? These are all things that are quite popular features. At least in Uganda.
Great move! I'm participating in an internship with a company that collaborates with students in Africa. I'll direct them to this 4Afrika initiative as I believe in the effectiveness of the Windows Phone and Windows ecosystem.
I love the 4Afrika labeling on the device. It looks cool, and I think customers will like the exclusivity. This will do well if its priced right.. Good job!!
Gosh!! Y'all should have just called it "AFRICA" ... everyone would have loved it... now it just looks like a cheap hand out :)
PS: I'm an African and I love Africa... stop looking at Africa different. That's my 2 cents
I love this idea, am a Nigerian and lives in Nigeria, this is what our people need, a smart phone that will not break the bank. Please I can't wait to get one of these can you give me info on a launch date and price and where to get it at launch in Nigeria?
I am in cote d 'ivoire, I have a lumia 920 for almost a week and I love it but I realized that I no longer have access to Nokia music and Xbox companion while it was the case my old lumia 710 :(((((
From what I read "Afrika" is actually the original spelling of the word, and is used to symbolize a coming back together of "Afrikan" people worldwide. The term has been used by activist, and organizations, who are for a better "Africa"" So, I think Microsoft is using the K as a creative way of showing respect, and injecting meaning into the labeling of the device, and the entire project to promote technology in Africa. Sounds good right?? :-):-):-)
Why label it so cheap, Im in Zimbabwe and have got Lumia 900. We can afford the high quality phones like any other Developed country, our mobile operators need to move fast to feel in the gap by providing affordable contracts when buying these phone, right now anyone in Zimbabwe with a smartphone the paid cash.
This changes the game . does any one know release dates for Uganda ?
@micdmj: I don't have specific country-level details, but will pass along when I hear.
@everybody else: Great to hear from you and thanks for sharing.
This is great! Such great steps are always expected from Microsoft especially here in Africa. Waiting for 4Afrika!
J'apprécie cette idée, je suis Guinéen et je vie au Maroc , c'est ce que les jeunes de mon pays aurons besoins à la fin de installation de la fibre optique , un téléphone intelligent qui englobe tout les de Microsoft. Windows phone 8, 4Afrika S'il vous plaît, je ne peux pas attendre pour obtenir un de ces pouvez vous me donner d'informations sur la date de lancement et le prix et où le trouver au lancement au Maroc la Guinée ?
its a great move, but people more so in Africa find it hard using windows platforms than android platforms .but please keep us posted of when it hits the market..more so in my neighbor country Kenya..
The wp8 is quite futuristic but the applications are no match for other mobile operating systems in terms of quality and variety. Also we need to know more about the OS updates. Their frequency and future developments. Keep us in the loop.
I am lucky to be the very few in Kenya with a Lumia 920, kindly even out your launch dates. Better yet have global launches. Not like the way US had it at the begging of Dec, Asia at large by mid Dec and here in Kenya we don't have a clue when they will land.
That's great. Only wish Ghana was part of the debut countries.
i am moroccan, i live in morocco pleasetell me where can i find this phone in casablanca, & how much it costs in DHs
Windows marketplace de Huawei 4africa
Bonjour, après Microsoft avait lancé le smartphone Huawei 4africa j'ai entendu que cette smartphone a été doté juste *Applications Spécifique* for les africaines et que nous n'avons pas téléchargé les applications en Windows Marketplace.
Est ce que ca c'est vrai?
Et s'il vous plait quel est le budget pour cette smartphone?
et merci d'avance pour votre réponse.
Hamza TALBI ( un marocain habitant au Maroc)
How much applications existed in windows sotre for Huawei 4Africa ?