When Huawei assistant director for African expansion, Wang Liu, talked about developing a cheap Android phone for the African market, he knew it would be successful. But after the Chinese company launched the IDEOS phone earlier this year via Kenya’s Safaricom, the results were better than they could have imagined.
“We knew it would be successful and thought it would take some time to get moving, but the statistics coming in are amazing,” Liu said.
According to Safaricom, the $80 Android phone has been sold to over 350,000. That is a staggering statistic considering nearly half of Kenya’s population lives on less than two dollars per day.
Liu said the key to Huawei’s success was their ability to offer devices at a price-point that is affordable for the average Kenyan.
“We knew that if we could get the price down and make it cheap enough for people to get, lots would get out there because Android and smartphones are the future and people want the latest technology,” Liu said from Shanghai.