There is a no doubt that Africa is a vast market whose profitability is mostly unrecognized or just glossed over by firms from advanced countries. With a population of over 850m people, there should be no question at all about how this market can help a firm dominate its competitors.
For quite sometime, I’ve been wondering why Google still had no Android powered phones here. Earlier this month, that prayer was answered with the introduction of the Android powered IDEOS smartphone in Kenya .
For Android to finally overtake RIM’s Blackberry in the smartphone market, it will need additional territory, and if you ask me, that territory is my homeland of Africa. With the introduction of this low cost, Android 2.2 powered device, Google has actually paved the way for a potential revolution in the way Africans access the web.
On a continent where the overwhelming majority access the internet exclusively on their phones, a reasonably priced handset with features other than a WAP browser will sure make headway in terms of profitability and domination, and that is exactly what Android is going to do.
Now what I expect from Google will be to work with all the major GSM networks in most of the African countries to expand the availability of this device. We might sing the praises of the IDEOS, but if it is not widely available, it still will be the same old story. To everything there is a first step, and Android’s first step to domination is it’s cheap entry onto the African market.