Africa-only smartphone unveiled

Feb. 5, 2013 at 5:54 PM

SHENZHEN, China, Feb. 5 (UPI) -- Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei has announced a Windows-powered smartphone to be available exclusively in Africa.

The phone, running the Windows Phone 8 operating system, is being produced in partnership with Microsoft as part of the U.S. company's 4Afrika Initiative, intended to improve the continent's global competitiveness.

Huawei's Windows phone will initially be rolled out in seven countries: Egypt, Nigeria, Kenya, Ivory Coast, Angola, Morocco and South Africa.

"Our aim is to be the most affordable Windows phone in Africa," Gustavo Fuchs, director of Microsoft Windows Phone division in the Middle East & Africa, told the BBC.

Purchasers of the phone, a customized version of the Huawei Ascend W1, will be able to connect to a customized app store including applications developed by Africans, he said.

"Affordability is important but without the right local content we believe a lot of users will not see the benefit in the change from a basic feature phone to a smartphone," Fuchs said.

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