Intel Reps YOLO In Africa, Bringing a New Smartphone to the Continent

January 29, 2013  |  

Now, not only will Yolo be a popular Twitter  hashtag , it will also be Intel’s new smartphone brand launching in Africa.

The new Yolo smartphone was introduced at the Consumer Electronics Show earlier this month and is being sold by Kenyan mobile operator Safaricom, which has around 65 percent of the market share in the country. The phone sells for about 10,999 Kenyan shillings (about $125). It has 500MB of data, a 3.5 –inch touch screen, and a five megapixel camera. It will also run on the Android operating system. Techweez has pictures of the new device.

Acer and Lava are also creating mobile devices so surely there will be more competition to follow. We reported recently on the first African-made mobile phone and tablet, The Way C, from Verone Mankou’s company VMK in the Republic of Congo.

Intel is increasingly enhancing its handset offerings, with a couple of new introductions internationally already. This changes the game for Intel, moving from the developed markets to emerging ones and may expand their product offerings beyond processors and into the high-volume, low-cost mobile phone market.

But for Africa, mobile has already been a big business, with functions designed to meet the needs of people on the continent, such as getting money to people far away and powering new businesses. “Today, Africa continues to develop mobile innovations that far outpace those of the United States, and these advances are building the continent’s new narrative: the world’s fastest-growing economies, a new consumer class, rising global influence, and rapid modernization,” writes The Daily Beast. “Africa’s mobile-phone technology is inspiring a generation of young entrepreneurs and leading some to wonder whether the next Bill Gates or Steve Jobs may be in Silicon savannah.” An article in Africa Review, picked up from the blog writings of Google’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt, outlines the mobile needs across Africa.

But there’s still the matter of that name. You’ll recall that Drake wanted Walgreen’s and Macy’s to pay him for using the term. You’ll also recall that it was voted the most annoying word of 2012,.

Well, there won’t be any money coming Drake’s way since he didn’t trademark the phrase (a Florida restaurant took care of that) and he’s not even the first to use it in a song. (The Strokes, for instance, used it in 2006.) So it looks like the world can use the term YOLO as much as it wants. Let’s just hope the world doesn’t want to use it that much. Or if they do, they use it the way SNL did this weekend.

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