MTN has reportedly started rolling out their smart-feature phone which is aptly named Smart S 3G across Africa. The phone was announced back in 2018 at AfricaCom and after playing with the phone for a few minutes after the announcement I think this phone will be a big hit for people buying low-cost entry-level phones.
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What does this Jio look-alike offer?
What’s especially great about the Smart S 3G is that it will only cost $20 but it will still offer WhatsApp and a respectable OS in Kai OS. Though Kai OS still doesn’t support WhatsApp certain devices like the popular Jio phone and MTN’s Smart S 3G will support the popular messaging app. MTNs smart-feature phone will also support some of the following cool features:
- Google Assistant
- Wi-Fi capable
- GPS capability
- 2 000 mAh battery
- Micro-SD card support (32Gb)
In our initial article regarding this phone, we felt the $20 price was fantastic but at that time the phone wasn’t slated to have WhatsApp support and we felt that would be a dealbreaker for African markets because WhatsApp is hugely popular in these parts of the world. Now that the phone will support WhatsApp I can see these being very competitive and if MTN can sell the Smart S 3G as Jio network does in India they could have a hit on their hands.
The Jio Phone was launched back in 2017 and since Jio is a mobile network operator they sold the phone at a low cost (around $21) that would be refundable after 3 years on the Jio Network. The assumption is that if a customer has spent that long on the network they’ve already given the network more than $21 dollars and thus it’s not so improbable that Jio would adopt this interesting business model.
Other use cases
Anyway Jio phone and Indian market aside, the Smart S 3G from MTN is also a great phone for people who want to get their kids their first phone but are not comfortable with getting them a full-fledged smartphone. The limits of the smart-feature phone also makes it easier to learn and for the older citizens who don’t want to acclimatize to a smartphone and the touch screen, this is another option. The use-cases just don’t seem to end because many people have two phones and one “kambudzi” and this seems like a perfect mbudzi to me.
WhatsApp Messenger is a cross-platform mobile messaging app which allows mobile phone users to exchange messages without having to pay for Short Message Services costs. WhatsApp Messenger application is compatible with different mobile phone models such as iPhone, BlackBerry, Android, Windows Phone and Nokia. The… Read More About WhatsApp
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