Intel’s announcement earlier this month of a smartphone platform for emerging markets has seen its first major follow-through: the Yolo smartphone launched by Safaricom in Kenya.
Kenya’s leading mobile network operator Safaricom yesterday announced the release of the Yolo smartphone, the first smartphone for Africa using the Intel smartphone platform.
The device is aimed at the growing number of cost-conscious and first-time buyers in Kenya who do not want to sacrifice device performance or user experience for cost. The Yolo smartphone will be sold countrywide at the entry price of Kshs. 10,999 (equivalent to about R1000) and comes bundled with free 500 MB data.
The phone is based on Intel’s latest smartphone platform for emerging markets, launched earlier this month at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES). With Intel Inside, users of the Yolo smartphone are promised fast Web browsing, impressive multimedia capabilities and a great Android applications experience.
“We’re redefining what cost-conscious Kenyans can expect from a smartphone,”” said Peter Arina, general manager, Safaricom’ s Consumer Business Unit. “”The Intel-based Yolo smartphone strikes a unique balance between price and performance we consider it to be a real breakthrough. It’s great news that Kenya will be the launch country in Africa for smartphones with Intel Inside and we expect a great reception from our customers.””
“”We are delighted to partner with Safaricom in bringing the first smartphone with Intel Inside to Kenyan consumers”” said Aysegul Ildeniz, Regional Director for the Middle East, Turkey and Africa Region. “”The new handset extends the benefits of Intel technology to more smartphone users around the world and we believe that Kenyan consumers will welcome the increased functionality and overall value of the device. We look forward to our continued cooperation with Safaricom.””
The Yolo smartphone is based on the Intel Smartphone Reference Design for the value segment of the smartphone market. The device is powered by the Intel Atom processor Z2420 with Intel Hyper-Threading Technology that can achieve speeds of up to 1.2 GHz. The efficiency of this technology package helps to enable a smooth and responsive user experience, which includes support for 1080p HD video capture, and a camera with advanced imaging capabilities, including burst mode that allows people to capture seven pictures in a second in 5-megapixel quality.
The device is housed in a compact design and features a 3.5-inch touchscreen display for crisp text and images, support for FM radio and an expandable memory slot for greater flexibility, and HSPA+ modem support with Intel’s XMM 6265 modem for global roaming. The handset can also be enabled with McAfee mobile security software, providing consumers with added protection as well as data backup and restore capabilities when needed.