Last week marked the first challenge of The Amazing Race with Huawei as the race around two cities between three contestants, gets underway. A lunch with the contestants was held at Huawei’s headquarters in Sandton along with the first challenge, a quiz on one of the Huawei devices.
The contestants, Gadget’s Sean Bacher, IT News Africa’s Charlie Fripp and Cleo’s Roxanne Fagri will go head to head and battle it out for the title of ‘Amazing Racer’ as they dash around two cities in the two-day competition. The six-leg race officially begins in Johannesburg on 8 November 2011 and culminates in Cape Town on 9 November 2011.
Speaking at the challenge, Huawei’s Marketing Director: Devices, Eastern & Southern Region, Liza de Wet welcomed the contestants to the competition and explained the concept behind the competition.
“We creatively brainstormed a way for journalists to exclusively test the new devices, set to be launched in the country only in the first quarter of 2011. Our three contestants will be the first people in South Africa who have access to the Huawei Vision smartphone. Along the journey with us, they will experience the smartphone in its full capacity,” said De Wet.
Each contestant was handed their cellphone and Huawei’s Product Specialist, Tarigzuber Sheik took each contestant through the cellphone’s applications, including the fundamental feature, Huawei’s Cloud +.
“Huawei has been in existence for 23 years and have been operating in South Africa for the last five years. The company was predominantly known for their data modems but recently devised a strategy that would enter the device market. In December 2010, the IDEOS U8150 smartphone was launched to the Kenya market,” added De Wet.
In executing this campaign to the Kenya market, Huawei formed a strategic partnership with Safaricom, Kenya’s telecommunications giant as the main distributor and marketer of the smartphone. Other strategic alliances formed were with Google for their Android 2.2 platform and Qualcomm for the chipset. Over 60 000 devices were sold in the few months, resulting in an order for a further 150,000 units from Safaricom. The IDEOS U8150 smartphone was the top selling device with February alone reaching a whopping 73 percent. This marked the first time that Huawei ranked first in the smartphone market in any country.
Round one of The Amazing Race challenge was a questionnaire of the Huawei Vision cellphone, as per the product demonstration conducted by the Huawei team. The aim of the challenge was to not only test the contestant’s knowledge of the smartphone but also their speed in doing so.
As contestants started completing the answers, Roxanne Fagri dashed out of the building to download an application on her smartphone as part of the first challenge. Shortly afterwards, she submitted her answers and placed first in the challenge.
Roxanne will have a head start on the competition, followed by Sean directly after her and Charlie who will leave three minutes later.
With fantastic prizes up for grabs, each contestant was given the Huawei Vision and R1000 cash injection that has to see them through the entire six legs of the competition. Huawei Devices are excited about the competition and we wish all three contestants the best of luck.
Follow the race via Huawei’s twitter handle: @HuaweiZA or searching for #Huaweirace.