South Africa: Meet Vodacom’s R549 smartphone

Rudi Matjokana returns to Vodacom
Rudi Matjokana returns to Vodacom
Samsung Knox
(Image Source: Darryl Linington)

Vodacom has launched the Smart Kicka, a new smartphone that is intended to appeal to the pockets of consumers looking for a cost-conscious smartphone.

According to Vodacom, the device is the first ever Vodacom-branded device. The device has been designed to give South African citizens, who don’t have thousands of Rands to spend on a smartphone, the opportunity to gain access to social media as well as the internet.

Phil Patel, Vodacom’s Chief Commercial officer stated that: “At the moment only 27% of people living in South Africa’s emerging markets have access to smart devices. We aim to double that number in the next year. The Smart Kicka is not only affordable, coming in at around the US$50 level, but also offers the best from a technology perspective. Put simply it gives users the best possible internet experience without breaking the bank,”

The Vodacom Smart Kicka, which is priced at R549, runs Android 4.4 KitKat and has over 4 gigabytes (GB) of memory, a 3.5” screen and a two mega-pixel camera. The device will also come with five free 50 megabyte (MB) Power Bundles to get consumers connected straight away.

“By including Power Bundles we’re making it easy for first time internet users to experience the web – whether it’s downloading music or catching up with friends on Facebook,” said Patel.

By actively reducing data prices and through new initiatives like Power Bundles, Vodacom has brought down the average effective price per MB of data by 30% over the past year.  This has resulted in a 70% increase in data traffic on its network, with over 52% of Vodacom’s 32.5 million South African customers now using data.

On top of providing affordable products and devices, Vodacom is also investing heavily in its network to ensure that its new internet users have a seamless online experience. This year alone Vodacom plans to invest upwards of R9 billion in its South Africa network. A large portion of this has been earmarked to provide 3G coverage in emerging markets across South Africa.

“Our strategy is very simple. We aim to have 3G coverage wherever we have voice coverage,” said Patel.