News Column

Seven sub-R1 000 smartphones

August 12, 2014

Staff Writer

Low-cost smartphones have the potential to bridge SA's technology gap.

SA is a mobile-first country and the ever-increasing pool of low-cost smartphones that manufacturers and mobile operators are bringing to the table has the potential to put the Internet in the hands of millions ultimately bridging the digital divide.

Analysts have tagged 2014 as the year of the low-cost smartphone. These are some of the phones analysts believe herald a new generation of connected users in SA:

1. Huawei Ascend Y220 (R450) 2. Alcatel Pixi (R550) 3. Samsung Galaxy Star (R599) 4. Nokia Asha 500 (../index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=68344) (around R900) 5. MTN Steppa (../index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=70446:MTN-unveils-sub-R500-smartphone&catid=260) (R499) 6. Vodacom Smart 4 Mini (../index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=134329:Vodacom-unveils-R899-smartphone&catid=260) (R899) 7. Vodacom Smart Kicka (../index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=136668) (R549)

Arthur Goldstuck, MD of World Wide Worx, notes, while the flagship phones competing for consumers' desire in the high end are significant in terms of brand value, it is ultimately the entry-level and low-cost devices that will define how the market will shift this year.

"The biggest intervention [in SA's mobile landscape] is the advent of entry-level smartphones below the $50 mark and the imminent arrival of high-end devices below the $150 mark."

He says SA can expect to see more of these types of devices emerging this year, especially given Qualcomm's Reference Design Programme ( that allows any brand to produce their own branded device at a much lower cost.

The Steppa was the first operator-branded phone in SA to make use of this programme, allowing MTN to sell the device for R499.

For more stories covering the world of technology, please see HispanicBusiness' Tech Channel

Source: ITWeb

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