Nigeria has launched its first locally made smart phone. AfriOne mobile phones will now compete with other brands in the Nigerian market. The latest entrant is hoping to leverage on the government’s Buy-Made-In Nigeria campaign to win the hearts of Nigerians.
It is not just smartphones that will be coming out of the facility, but educational tablets PCs and android smart watches are on the way as well.
AfriOne’s Gravity Z1, Nigeria’s first locally produced smartphone produced at AfriOne’s new factory in Lagos.
“This is just the beginning of a long journey. Today, yes we are mainly assembling our phones using components that are imported but there are lots of research and development that goes on locally right now to produce the phone; the software that we are developing again has been customized for the local market. All our packaging is done locally. But now we are also looking at some of the components and accessories to be produced over here locally,” said Sahir Berry, founder and CEO Afrione.
It’s taken AfriOne just a year and half to set up this factory, which is a record time. The facility has an installed capacity of 300,000 ICT devices and accessories per months and now employs around five hundred, most of them young people.
“We also do applications. In the retail outlets that we are creating right now, we are actually creating what we call the entrepreneur programme, where we encourage people to come in, share their ideas with us, share technology applications that they want to create to help benefit the local society and we then help them develop those applications and actually push them out to the market. We are going to be working with almost 2000 students and youths to be able to push that out,” said Sahir Berry, founder and CEO Afrione.
Nigeria is the largest market in Africa for smartphones but the market is far from saturated. It is estimated that just 35 per cent of Nigeria’s 170 million population has a mobile phone. That leaves a huge space for local manufacturers like AfriOne to play in. But perhaps importantly, AfriOne would be hoping the current wave the Buy-Made -In-Nigeria campaign would help propel the sale of its smartphones across the country.