The Straits Times
Published on Feb 05, 2013

Microsoft and Huawei team up for smartphone push into Africa


NEW YORK (AFP) - Microsoft announced on Tuesday it had teamed up with Chinese manufacturer Huawei to launch an affordable smartphone across Africa.

"Microsoft and Huawei today introduced the Huawei 4Afrika phone, a full-functionality Windows Phone 8 preloaded with select applications designed for Africa, by Africans," said Microsoft's top executive for the Middle East and Africa, Ali Faramawy, on a corporate blog.

While Africans have been enthusiastic adopters of mobile phones, the high cost of smartphones, which can run over US$700 (S$875), has kept penetration of the devices low.

Microsoft estimates that smartphone penetration in Africa is about 10 per cent, while sales of the devices accounted for 45.5 per cent of total mobile phone sales globally last year according to the IDC research firm.