At a Google for Nigeria event that was held last week, the American mega-company revealed that it would be working with Japanese mobile manufacturer Freetel to provide $40 smartphones for Nigerians.
Google will look to launch the affordable Ice 2 smartphone in September, with their Android operating system embedded in order to provide them with an advantage in the fast-growing Nigerian mobile market, according to ITNewsAfrica.
At $40, or 13,000 naira locally, this price-point makes the phones incredibly affordable for Nigerians, and will allow for further smartphone penetration in a market that highly favors mobile.
Google chief executive Sundar Pichai and his team visited Nigeria to unveil a selection of products designed specifically for people in the West African nation, including a YouTube version built for Nigerians with slow internet speeds and Google Maps Street View for the city of Lagos, according to PM News.
“Yes, Google is set to launch an Android device in September. One cool thing about this device is the price. The Ice 2 would be sold at N13,000 ($40) when it is launched,” Pichai revealed.
The new device will come preloaded with Google Play Protect, which continuously works to keep devices, data and apps safe.
Cesar Segunutpane, vice president of product management at Google explained the thinking behind making such an affordable smartphone available to the masses in Nigeria.
“We don’t want to create internet for Africa rather enable them to create the internet they want through the access, platforms and products we create,” said Segunutpane, according to African Business Review.
“Access is important, by making sure they are connected to high internet. Whether students or workers, MTN, Mainone and others have done a lot on internet/broadband deployment to empower these people in Nigeria. We strongly believe faster broadband will improve Africans’ lives and innovation,” he added.
“Android is the largest tech ecosystem in the world today. In 9 years, it grew from one phone to 2billion smartphones across the world. We have continued to work with partners and OEMs to develop devices for Africans, especially Nigerians, like $40 smartphone,” he concluded.