$100 Huawei Android Mobile Phone is Bringing the Netbook Revolution to Smartphones

huawei ideos smartphone
Yesterday, Huawei introduced a revolutionary Android smartphone in the Kenyan market. The tech specs for the IDEOS mobile phone will make any hardware geek drool - 2.8-inch (240x320) touch display, 528MHz processor, 3.2-megapixel camera, 16Gig memory with a microSD slot, HSDPA, Wi-Fi (802.11n), GPS, Bluetooth, and 3G Mobile Hotspot support for up to eight devices. That's hot and all, but...

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It is the $100 price that's revolutionary
Huawei and Google have noticed that Kenyan mobile Internet use grew by over 180 per cent in past 12 months and have teamed up to offer the IDEOS for 8,000 Ksh, or about $100 US Dollars, to increase that adoption rate.
At $100, the smartphone goes from just a techno elite bragging right to a phone actually accessible for the wananchi. $100 puts phones in range of schools, medical clinics, and other large organizations that need to equip their staff or clients with affordable, powerful information and communication technologies.
It's the netbook revolution for smartphones.
Do you remember Christmas 2007, when netbooks first appeared? These were small, cheap laptop computers that retailed for $200 yet could do almost as much as high-end $2,000 business elite laptops. Netbooks were born from the One Laptop Per Child program and its "$100 laptop" goal. OLPC's XO laptop never reached the $100 price point, but you can now buy real, respectable laptops for $400.
With the Huawei $100 Android smartphone, we're about to see the same revolution in mobile phones. We're about to see an explosion of cheap, sub-$100 smartphones that rival iPhones in function and cheap Nokias in price. In fact, the $100 smartphone price barrier was first broken when Nokia announced the 2730 Classic and Synchronica released the MessagePhone back in March 2010.
It's gonna change the way Africa gets online
With more, better, cheaper smartphones, the shift from computer to mobile phone for Internet access across Africa will only accelerate, changing the entire ICT industry. 2 out of every 3 internet users in Kenya connect through their mobile phone, which is already driving cyber cafes out of business and I see ISP's loosing business to Android 2.2 (Froyo)-enabled WiFi hotspots.
The shift to cheap mobile Internet devices also means there will be less margin for ICT companies. Gone are the days of selling relatively few high-end laptops or smartphones to elite business clients, with businesses trading on technical skills and support to gain market share. The $100 smartphone era will see businesses compete with lowest price, speediest sale, and cheapest staff. A predicament, not progress. C'est la vie

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