14 October 2014

Tech4Africa is still underway at the SciBono Discovery Center, Mary Fitzgerald Square, Newtown, Johannesburg. IT News Africa caught up with Gareth Knight, creator of Tech4Africa, in order to discuss the top 10 benefits of the extremely sought after USD $50 smartphone.

According to Knight, When the $50 smartphone hits there will be a massive boom in Africa. Furthermore, Knight believes that the $50 smartphone is only 12 months away and set to revolutionise the continent.

Knight listed the top 10 benefits of the device as follows:

1. Consumers will be able to gain access to products and services that don’t exist on feature devices.

2. The $50 smartphone will essentially replace outdated hardware and devices. According to Knight, Africa is all about mobility. One cannot trudge around with a desktop computer. This goes hand-in-hand with laptop devices as they are high value items and at times an inconvenience to those who want connectivity on the go.

3. According to Knight, mesh networks will mean that those based in rural locations will now gain access to the internet in a far easier manner. Once implemented, the $50 smartphone will allow users to no longer rely on fixed-line connections.

4. According to Knight, the $50 smartphone will additionally benefit users across three phases, which include:

- Utility Value: Users can potentially access micro-jobbing services, pay bills, and access their banking accounts.

- Personal Value: While a device can be used for a plethora of needs users will mainly gain personal value from a device like the $50 smartphone. As Africa is essentially mobile, users will gain personal value out taking and storing photos, communicating with family and making personal transactions.

- Social Value: Africa has adopted the social media trend with open arms. The $50 smartphone can give users unlimited access to the likes of Facebook, Twitter and other popular social networks.

5. Mobile service providers can also benefit from the $50 smartphone. This is due to the fact that users will essentially be consuming more data. This will allow mobile services providers the opportunity to create data subscriptions that could potentially offer larger data bundles with the benefit of 0-rated calls and text messages. Knight states that: “Users will want to consume more data, which will potentially uplift data usage and adoption.”

6. According to Knight, the $50 smartphone can potentially opens mass distribution channels, which counters the need for opening multiple stores or having a physical presence.

7. While the $50 smartphone will benefit mobile users and mobile service operators… it can be highly beneficial to app developers as well as start-ups looking to break into the market of developing apps. Apps are essentially making there way through Africa; however, the apps aimed at Africa are there to assist African countries as well as create services that benefit the lives of those who do not have access to banking, health, or essential services that are supposed to be within arms reach.

8. The $50 smartphone will allow users to have more when it comes to the content they consume. This will allow users to access the content they want, when they want, and how they want to.

9. Knight mentioned that cost also plays an extremely important role when it comes to $50 smartphone. Low cost devices essentially allow a massive demographic the opportunity to access services and features that are essential. Overall, the $50 smartphone will allow just about any one to gain access to a device that will benefit their day-to-day life.

10. One of the major benefits of the $50 smartphone is replacement value. If a device is lost or stolen, it can be replaced with ease. Furthermore, with online storage becoming a major trend, users can back-up and restore their data as and when they need to.

Darryl Linington

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