Huawei may not appear to be the most influential member of the Windows Phone family at first blush, but its sales performance with mid-to-low end phones is almost unmatchable. Microsoft clearly respects that aspect of the company, so much so that the two have collaborated on a new Windows Phone 8 device together: the Huawei 4Afrika.
Announced earlier this evening, Microsoft’s new 4Afrika initiative aims to empower the continent’s millions of citizens with modern smartphones. Huawei is one member of the initiative, while Nokia has also signed up for the cause with plans to create a consumer training program to spur adoption of Lumia devices in the continent. The new technology outreach program aims to accomplish the following by 2016:
- help place tens of millions of smart devices in the hands of African youth,
- bring 1 million African small and medium enterprises (SMEs) online,
- and help 200 000 Africans develop skills for entrepreneurship and employability. This will include up-skilling 100,000 members of the existing workforce, as well as training 100,000 recent graduates, 75 percent of whom we intend to help place in jobs.
The Huawei 4Afrika is the first device certified in collaboration with the program, and Microsoft has aggressive plans to promote its adoption. For those smartphone fans curious, the 4Afrika is a variant of the Ascend W1 featuring identical specifications such as the 4-inch WVGA display, a 1.2 GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor, 4 GB of internal storage, a MicroSD card slot, and an estimated 420 hours of standby battery life. The device comes in white, black, blue, and red.
The Huawei 4Afrika will become available later this month in Angola, Egypt, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, and South Africa.