African handset manufacturer Mi-Fone has launched dual-Sim handsets on the continent, hoping to capitalise on the fact that many of the continent’s consumers carry multiple Sim cards and devices to avoid high off-network call tariffs.
The company says the new phones, powered by Mediatek chipsets, should help obviate the need for subscribers to carry two separate handsets. Consumers can insert two separate operators’ Sim cards into the new devices, and make calls depending on coverage and price.
The products include the ULC Mi320, which has an MP3 player,and the Mi326, which also includes camera and GPRS connectivity.
Mi-Fone, founded by Ugandan-born Alpesh Patel, who is a former Motorola executive, wants to build Mi-Fone into an African Nokia or HTC. Devices developed by the company so far range in price from US$15 to $125, with touch-screen Android smartphones at the top end.
The company is 92% African owned, with shareholders from Mauritius, SA, Rwanda and Nigeria. Since launch, it has distributed more than 1m phones to the continent’s mobile operators. It has generated $15m in revenue since its launch three years ago. — Staff reporter, TechCentral