Vodacom launches low-cost tablet

2014-10-14 17:14

Vodacom has launched a low-cost tablet that has been designed specifically for the South African market.

This was in a bid to drive greater data usage as voice revenues continue to slide.

“Just over a year ago we stepped back and looked at the devices currently in the market in South Africa and realised there was a massive gap. The smartphones and tablets on offer were either prohibitively expensive or cheap and badly specced,” said Vodacom’s commercial officer Phil Patel.

“We sketched out what we thought the ideal specifications were for South Africa, and using the purchasing power of Vodafone’s global device team, we were able to have the device manufactured at a price point that works out at R2 per day,”

In August, Vodacom released its first low-cost smartphone Kicka, and according to Patel over 250 000 units have been sold in a month and a half.

He estimated that the data usage per unit was on average 100-150MB.

Rival MTN also has its own low-cost device called the Steppa.

“Introducing high-quality, low-priced devices is just one leg of our three-part strategy to connect South Africa. The first leg is the network itself – we’re investing R9 billion across South Africa this year to expand both the reach and quality of our coverage,” Patel said.

He said the focus was on township, rural and greater suburban areas and the network was being built to support video and multimedia.

He acknowledged that income in rural and township areas especially may be limited and he said the approach to pricing of data will not be the same as with the cities.

Vodacom plans to introduce another own-branded device before the end of the year.

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