Intel announced on Thursday evening the first smartphone targeted at the African market, the Intel Yolo. Intel are newbies in the smartphone market, but recent changes have suggested that the tide is turning. The phone will sell for US$125 and come bundled with 500MB data.
In a partnership with Safaricom, one of Africa’s biggest mobile network operators, the phone was developed for the emerging African market. Safaricom have had exemplary success with previous mobile phone sales in Africa, such as the Huawei IDEOS, selling more than 100 000 devices in 2010. But what will Africans be getting?
Spec wise, the Yolo will sport a 3.5-inch TFT multi-touch capacitive screen, a Lexington Z2420 1.2 Gigahertz hyper-threaded processor, 512MB RAM and a SGX 540 400 megahertz graphics processor, which will make for an average gaming platform. A 5-megapixel camera without flash settles itself on the back, and while that isn’t groundbreaking, it will however be able to shoot 7 frames per second. For an OS, we get Android 4.0.
Storage is 4GB internal memory, but will also support expandable memory through a microSD card slot with up to 32GB capacity. An FM radio (indispensable in Africa), support for 3G HSDPA up to 21 Mbps and a 1500 mAh battery will complete the package. As this is “darkest dangerous Africa”, the exterior will be a rubberised plastic, something that would probably last longer than the flimsy yuppie plastic most other budget phones are made of, and will throw its weight around with a beefy 12.6mm thickness.
The Yolo will be available in Kenya for now, but the chances of sales in other African countries are not off the cards.
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