Finding an entry-level smartphone, with decent specs at an affordable price point, can be a real challenge in South Africa. But, Chinese cellphone giant Itel Mobile is aiming to change that.
According to Itel, over the next five to 10 years, the ‘democratisation of technology’ will be one of the key drivers of disruption and how new opportunities are created in the world. This ‘democratisation of technology’ will see people provided easy access to technical or business expertise without extensive and costly training.
But don’t just take Itel’s word for it; in its list of Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2020, global research and advisory firm Gartner places democratisation of technology only behind the application of artificial intelligence in terms of impact in the next decade. Basically, giving people easy and affordable access to technologies is soon to become the order of the day.
Itel is putting this idea of affordability – and therefore access – at the forefront of its operations in South Africa with the launch of its Itel Vision1 Pro smartphone in South Africa.
Prioritising access to technology
The arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic in South Africa exposed severe shortcomings with regard to disadvantaged South Africans having access to technology. Hundreds of thousands of school learners and university students, many of whom come from disadvantaged backgrounds, were unable to access online study materials for remote learning purposes because they could not afford devices or an internet connection.
Even with government-sponsored and private sector programmes to roll out the technology, many fell through the cracks. But, thanks to companies like Itel, things are changing. A data study by Android Authority shows that while there was a noticeable increase in the typical price for the most expensive flagship model smartphones in 2020, there was a “barely noticeable” increase in prices of affordable models.
So, while many of the world’s most well-known mobile manufacturers are pushing out premium-priced flagship models to cater for the minority, manufacturers like Transsion, who own smartphone brands Itel Mobile and Tecno Mobile, are focusing on emerging markets and developing devices for the majority of the world’s population.
In April, it was announced that Tecno Mobile bested Korean giant Samsung for handset sales in Africa in 2020, confirming its status as the Number 1 smartphone brand on the continent. The brand’s successful launch of handset models in the affordable segment, coupled with continued market spending had allowed it to make significant inroads on the continent.
Itel Vision1 Pro: flagship features at a sub-R2000 price point
With the launch of the Itel Vision1 Pro entry-level smartphone in South Africa, Transsion says it is not only recognising the importance of keeping its latest devices affordable for easy-access purposes but understands that Africa’s youth population requires phones able to offer similar features as higher-end flagship models do.
The phone boasts an HD+ 6.5-inches Waterdrop Fullscreen display, and is powered by a quad-core UNISOC CPU that supports 4G LTE network.
Coming in with a 32GB storage memory and 2GB RAM, the Vision1 is more than equipped to tackle any task that is thrown at it. The smartphone is also equipped with an 8MP + QVGA rear camera and 5MP front camera. Face unlock and fingerprint sensors feature as well.
The Itel Vision1 Pro will sell for a recommended R1,699 – far cheaper than its competitors in this sector of the smartphone market.