With mobile technology increasingly transiting from voice-centric to multi-purpose platforms, SOLO Phone, a Nigerian smartphone maker, has continued its push into emerging markets by launching two multi-purpose devices – SOLO S350 and S450 – into Nigeria’s already competitive smartphone market.
With relatively affordable prices and an Android Jelly Bean-powered operating system, Solo comes into the Nigerian market with an offer of “a unique experience on a premium smartphone,” said Tayo Ogundipe, CEO Solo Phone Nigeria Ltd.
According to him, SOLO brings to consumers a dual-SIM multi-services platform with streaming on mobile, innovative hotspot solutions (Kiosks), promising 2-3 minutes to download movies powered by Nollywood streaming company, iROKOtv. The smartphone also features an entertainment hub with easy access to albums, charts and free download of up to 20 million songs (local and international) for the life span of the device.
The device is a new idea that will bring the true promise of mobile telephony to emerging markets, Head of Qualcomm West Africa, Alex Dadson said.
According to Dadson, the idea behind SOLO is a multi-services platform that enhances the experience of the consumer. “This will allow costumers access several services on one platform, thereby enhancing productivity which drives economic growth.”
SOLO, which describes itself as “not just a device manufacturer but an mobile content provider targeting emerging markets”, will have to compete with established brands like Samsung, Tecno, HTC and Nokia jostling for market share in Nigeria.
“The beauty of the smartphone industry is that nothing is set in stone…it is about innovation, strategy and staying on top,” Ogundipe quips.
“The ambition for SOLO is to bring to emerging markets the same complete experience Apple used to reshape the industry by bringing iTunes and iPhone together in a complete ecosystem which fundamentally changes the use of mobile.”
Although the smartphone is manufactured abroad, SOLO is 75 percent-owned by Nigerians and has already opened an experience centre in Computer Village (which I have visited), a vibrant IT hub in Nigeria’s economic capital, Lagos.
SOLO S350 SOLO S450
At their affordable prices, I must say that these phones are definitely going to be competitors with brands like Tecno, Infinix, G TIDE and others. While brands like Apple, Samsung, Nokia and Blackberry have little to worry about as they have a huge number of “loyal” users.
As an IT entrepreneur, another issue that I will pull your attention to is, whether these phones are durable enough for the “Nigerian” user and whether or not they will be easily repairable in Nigeria, as regards availability of replacement parts in case of damage..
Well, our fingers are crossed.. Good Luck SOLO!!