Google’s Android One finally coming to Africa with the launch of the Infinix HOT 2

Today Google (now Alphabet) announced that they are bringing the Android One program to Africa starting with Nigeria. The announcement was made on the official Android blog in which they mentioned that the Android One program will expand to Nigeria, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Egypt, and Morocco with the launch of the Infinix HOT 2. The HOT 2 will be available in Nigeria at select retail outlets and online through Jumia. It will become available in the other countries over the next few weeks.

Africa is a big deal

We wrote about the Android One project when it launched posing the question of whether or not they would come to Africa. One year later, they are here. In Nigeria alone it’s said that there are over 120 million mobile connections with 50 million of those being internet enabled.

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According to an Ericsson Report, In Sub saharan Africa alone mobile subscriptions were expected to be at about 635 million by end of 2014. That number is expected to increase to 930 million by end of 2019. This shows you a glimpse of the potential for mobile and internet growth unlike in some economies where penetration is high almost nearing saturation. Google sees this potential and does not want to miss on the opportunity to tap into it.

Strategic partnerships to pull it off

Understanding Africa is important when doing business in Africa. For Google to pull this off, they new they had to have strategic partners. It’s no wonder they chose Transion as a hardware partner. Transion is the parent company behind Tecno, Infinix and iTel phones that have captured quite a sizable market. This partnership is also a vote of confidence in the brand as a hardware vendor.

While Infinix will provide the phones, Jumia will distribute the phone. With Jumia present in 12 African countries and MTN in many more, Jumia becomes not just any partner as they can ensure the best distribution of the device along with other partners like carriers and vendors.

The right price + right distribution = Mass Adoption

The Infinix Hot 2 will be sold at a recommended retail price of about $88 ( 17,500 Naira or Ugx 312,000) that may vary due to a couple f factors. We however don’t expect it to vary so much from the recommended price. The current war of the dollar against the shilling will most definitely frustrate Android One efforts.

Google seems to understand the mass adoption equation. A well known hardware vendor, top specs, the right marketing and distribution will help Google achieve that. Also, having done it in India before means they can use experiences gained to replicate or better Android One adoption in Africa

The Infinix Hot 2 Specifications

The Infinix Hot 2 is a new device that seems to have been designed specifically for the Android One project. We do not have full information about it but after scraping here and there, this is what we know about it’s specs. It’s a 3G dual SIM device with a 1.3 Ghz quad-core MediaTek processor. There are 1 and 2GB RAM models in colors like black, white, red, blue, and gold. The Infinix Hot 2 will ship with stock (pure)Android Lollipop 5.1.1 with a promise to receive an update to the next version of Android according to Infinix’s schedule.

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Will you be jumping aboard the Android One train? let us know in the comments.


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