Bharti Airtel Africa has launched the first pan African high quality, cost effective, customized smartphone in partnership with mobile chip manufacturer Qualcomm, a statement said Tuesday.
The device will start selling from $53 subject to various government levies and will be available at local retail outlets, it said here.
The smartphone is available in Seychelles, Uganda and Burkina Faso markets with 14 other Airtel operating countries expected to launch the mobile device over the next few weeks.
"Industry research shows that data is playing a vital role in growing the smartphone uptake in sub-Saharan Africa and more so in the 17 countries where we operate. Special attention was given to the device layout and the user interface to provide quick and simple access to services like Airtel mobile money and popular social media applications to our customers," said Christian de Faria, chief executive officer, Airtel Africa during the launch.
The 3G new enabled phone with a memory of 4GB ROM and 512 MB RAM with 32 GB external memory capacity will not only provide an opportunity for feature phone users to upgrade to a smartphone but will also provide an opportunity for high end users to try out an affordable mobile device in the market.
The smartphone is also powered with Androids 4.4 KitKat Operating System. Other features of the phone include 1,300 mAh battery life, front and rear 3 mega pixel camera and a qualcomm dual core Central Processing Unit.
Airtel currently has the widest 3G network in Africa, with a presence across 17 markets.
"At Airtel, we are focused on migrating existing and new customers from the traditional feature phones to android smartphones to take advantage of Airtel's 3G networks and providing data connectivity to everyone," he added.