Thursday , March 4 2021

True African smartphone promises availability, quality



The AfDB president, Akinwumi Adesina and founder of the Mara group, Ashish Thakkar, holds the new smartphone replica that will be produced by SA. (Photo source: AfDB)

The AfDB president, Akinwumi Adesina and founder of the Mara group, Ashish Thakkar, holds the new smartphone replica that will be produced by SA. (Photo source: AfDB)

AThe Frici truly full-size smartphone will be manufactured in South Africa and Rwanda.

It was the name of the founder of the Mara Group Ashish Thakkar, announcing the company's plans to build factories in both countries to create the latest product – the Mara smartphone (Maraphone).

The news, which was announced at the Africa Investment Forum on Friday, has become local government officials who have sidelined the lack of local intelligence.

Telecommunications Minister Siyabonga Cwele previously commented that the government should support the production of smartphones that compete with Samsung or Apple members, but are much more beneficial to South Africans.

Accessibility and high quality are Marabona's main selling points, said Thakkar.

He points out that some smartphones are being collected in Africa, but nothing is being produced on the continent. "China is Huawei and Xiaomi, the United States has an iPhone and, finally, Maraphone in Africa.

"Qualitative smartphones mean that we can truly provide financial inclusion, micro lending and microcredit, which can lead to better education, digital healthcare and agricultural efficiency, and improved marketing."

Room for local appliances?

The founder of the Mara Group says that the original target market for mobile phones will be the first African smartphone users, pointing out that the phone project will make the smartphone business during the storm.

However, in a market dominated by Chinese brands, the question is whether new consumers will be looking for African-made smartphones.

An IDC global quarterly mobile phone tracker tracking the number of smartphone units shipped in the second quarter of 2018 revealed that the Chinese telecom giant Huawei has become the second largest smartphone manufacturer in the world for the first time in the world.

Some analysts have previously noted that Huawei has successfully launched smartphones in the premium segment and has kept mid-range segments.

Arthur Goldstuck, MD, World Wide Worx, says there's always room for new brands.

"If manufacturers were lagging behind, because of dominant players, Samsung would not have taken Nokia and Huawei would not have taken Samsung. Who will take Huawei?" The potential brand that is not yet known today can not come from Africa. "

To reach the smartphone, Goldstuck recommends that the company avoid drastic bids.

"We had plenty of examples of" African first smartphone "or" proud South Africa smartphones "that did not survive. The keys are high quality, low cost and strategic marketing, distribution and sales."

Though the proud African phone will initially be marketed to domestic consumers, Mara plans to export and sell the smartphone in Europe. In his opinion, this corresponds to plans to become a global player.

"It will really be transformable, it will directly and immediately hundreds of thousands of jobs create thousands of jobs indirectly in the ecosystem across the continent," says Thakkar.

He welcomed the African Development Bank (AfDB) to support industrialization on the continent as well as Maraboon's production.

"It really has come about thanks to the support of the African Development Bank and the African industrial development strategy. We will work with them to do this and to scale it. We all believe that the time has come to change the story, which is why we are happy, that the phone will also be sold in Europe. "

Akinwumi Adesina, the president of the AfDB, said that the African mobile money industry will reach $ 14 billion by 2020. "In order to develop this potential, we need African mobile phones."

According to Adesina, the production of a "truly African smartphone" proves that the continent has a huge untapped potential, just waiting for it to be given an opportunity.

"Africa is brave, powerful and innovative.

"I could not be proud, it simply says about the business quality that we have in Africa … Africa is not just a market for others. Africa will be a production base for the creation of markets in Africa, as well as markets outside of Africa.

"We not only want to be a market for others, but we also dominate elsewhere, for which everything is an African investment forum."


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