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Race on for Africa-developed smartphones

October 3, 2013 • Mobile and Telecoms, Top Stories, West Africa

Nigeria’s Phone and Allied Products Dealers Association (PAPDAN) has announced that the organisation will soon be launching two new phones – made exclusively in Nigeria.

Nigeria will be launching two new phones, made exclusively in the country (image: Shutterstock)

Nigeria will be launching two new phones, made exclusively in the country (image: Shutterstock)

To be called the iQ and MaxTel, the devices are a result of 20 Nigerian investors pooling resources to develop mobile devices that cater to the Nigerian population.

The announcement comes hot on the heels of South Africa’s Seemahale Telecoms and CZ Electronics’ announcement yesterday that the two companies would also start designing, developing and manufacturing smartphones in South Africa.

President of PAPDAN Godfrey Iyke Nwosu said that “PAPDAN has identified a growing appetite for cutting-edge technologies among Nigerian telecoms consumers and the two Nigerian brands would cater to three market segments in the feature, medium and smartphone segments to offer choice to consumers.”

According to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), mobile phone users rose to just over 120-million as of July 2013, which translates to over 69% of the population being in contact through some form of mobile device.

Nwosu revealed that the members of PAPDAN sell in excess of two million mobile phones monthly within Nigeria and surrounding countries, adding that the new devices would provide home-grown solutions for the Nigerian technology market.

While PAPDAN will be developing and manufacturing the two device for Nigeria, Seemahale CEO Thabo Lehlokoe believes their South African project is a first in Africa.

“This project is a first in Africa as far as I am aware. It’s not right that out of a billion or more phones in Africa, none are made or assembled in Africa. Some are designed here, but they’re then made in China,” he said.

Charlie Fripp – Consumer Tech editor

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