MTN has started to roll out its new Smart S 3G phone across all of its African markets and has launched MTN Smart, a smart feature phone running on Kai Operating System (KaiOS) in Nigeria.
The new type of mobile device is aimed at people who don’t have a smartphone but need and want more than a basic handset with only voice and texting capabilities. Devices with KaiOS will soon be in the hands of millions of new users across the African continent providing local app developers with an opportunity to build applications for the KaiOS platform through the KaiStore.
The MTN Smart comes with two cameras, a 2-day battery life with 2,000mAh battery, the SC7731EF processor, 2.4-inch screen, 256MB RAM and 512MB of storage. The MTN Smart is available in all MTN stores across Nigeria for $22,14 and comes with 500MB monthly data free the first six months. The KaiStore for Smart Feature Phones Is Coming to Africa Devices with KaiOS will soon be in the hands of millions of new users across the African continent and, in addition to the global apps already on the KaiStore, we want to ensure there’s a selection of compelling local content. As a developer, you can provide your apps for free through the KaiStore, or generate revenue through app sales, subscriptions, and advertising options provided by our KaiAds solution.
MTN Nigeria, Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), Rahul De described the development as the first African smart feature phone. “We want to bring connectivity to everybody. We believe that connectivity leads to growth in the nation’s economy. With connectivity, the growth of the economy becomes faster,” he said.
The phone is significantly cheaper and still supports popular apps such as WhatsApp and YouTube. MTN said its Smart S 3G would be priced at around $22, making it one of the cheapest such phones available on the market.
“Affordability of smartphones has remained a challenge, hence, the reason for a smartphone with so many features selling at $22,14,” said De. The phone also supports dual-SIM and a microSD card with up to 32GB of storage.
KaiOS Technologies also recently announced a partnership with Orange at Mobile World Congress to launch a US$20 device with voice recognition aimed at African mobile users. Beginning April 2019, Orange customers in Mali, Burkina Faso and Côte d’Ivoire will have access to a new category of smart feature phones powered by KaiOS, the operating system from KaiOS Technologies. The device will be launched in 16 countries in Africa and the Middle-East.