Huawei Expands Reach in Africa

Participation in Microsoft's 4Afrika Initiative Gives Chinese Player Greater Coverage


Earlier this month Microsoft launched the 4Afrika Initiative. The software company aims to invest $74 million over the next three years to support economic development in Africa. As part of the project Huawei has released a budget Windows Phone 8 device called the Huawei 4Afrika, which will be tailored for and exclusively available in some African countries.

4afrika

I was a little surprised that Microsoft had decided to work with Huawei on such a product. Given Microsoft's closer relationship with Nokia, coupled with Nokia's previous experience in similar development programmes including Nokia Money and Life Tools, I would have expected a Nokia phone to be the project's first offering. What's more, recent growth in Windows Phone 8 sales has mostly come from Nokia's Lumia products, particularly in emerging markets like India.

I believe Microsoft selected Huawei because it could provide the most affordable Windows Phone 8 handset. This is hugely important for consumers in Africa, where prices are not always subsidised by network operators and the average income is relatively low. The recent popularity of low-cost Chinese smartphones in East Asia and India shows how consumers are becoming increasingly persuaded by price and not brand.

Microsoft has said the Huawei 4Afrika is a variant of the Huawei W1. Our estimates from this month's Wholesale Pricing report put the Huawei W1 at about €30 less than Nokia's Lumia 620. The Huawei 4Afrika is reported to cost about $150 when it finally reaches retail stores.

Clearly Microsoft is making a big investment in Africa because there's so much potential growth in technology adoption, including smartphones. But I believe this is a bigger win for Huawei. The company will be able to use the 4Afrika Initiative to expand its distribution points across Africa. Huawei sees Africa as one of its fastest-growing markets outside China; this gives the collaboration with Microsoft added significance. I wouldn't be surprised to see Huawei make further similar announcements in the next month or so.

This entry was posted on February 12th, 2013 and is filed under Devices. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Posted By Digantam Gurung On February 12th, 2013


Comments
(There are no comments yet)
Leave a Comment

Hot News

Team Tweets

CCS Insight
The future of wearables looks bright as more light-monitoring devices come to market http://t.co/KxQn6Uaxfv
Follow CCS Insight
Ben Wood
RT @CCSInsight: The future of wearables looks bright as more light-monitoring devices come to market http://t.co/KxQn6Uaxfv
Follow Ben
Martin Garner
@Insteon launches connected home kits in US selling in @Microsoft store, app on Windows Phone with Cortana integration. Good news for WP.
Follow Martin
Geoff Blaber
#Windows10 realizes the vision of one Windows. Windows 10 will also be the next version of Windows Phone. Crucial in battle for developers
Follow Geoff
Arnaud Gagneux
RT @corentin_lamy: J'ai continué mon petit comparo entre les offres @netflix US et @NetflixFR, et c'est pas foufou http://t.co/Is82rkAgYO
Follow Arnaud
Paolo Pescatore
RT @shauncollins: Delighted to announce @nickmcquire joins @CCSInsight as VP Enterprise. Exciting times for the team. http://t.co/gcI0PRxNPS
Follow Paolo
Kester Mann
"O2 can disrupt in the UK public sector market," says @bendowdo2com. "Many organisations here still use feature phones!" #TefEuroIADay
Follow Kester
Jasdeep Badyal
RT @benwood: Exploded camera lens graphics standard part of any flagship launch these days. Nokia pioneered it - how times change http://t.…
Follow Jasdeep
George Jijiashvili
RT @shauncollins: Delighted to announce @nickmcquire joins @CCSInsight as VP Enterprise. Exciting times for the team. http://t.co/gcI0PRxNPS
Follow George

Recent Blog Posts

Blog Post
Blue Light Special This Watch Monitors the Wearer's Light Health Salutron, a... Read more
Blog Post
No Time to Jump to Conclusions Might LG Join Samsung in the Adult Watch–Phone Market? ... Read more
Blog Post
New Research, New Opportunities Nick McQuire Joins CCS Insight to Lead New Enterprise Resear... Read more
More blog

Latest Company News

Blog Post
Nicholas McQuire Joins CCS Insight to Lead New Enterprise Research Service Research Coverage Continues to Expand CCS Insight is please... Read more
More news