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Rig releases Android phones for West African countries

Olusegun Abolaji Ogundeji | Oct. 9, 2013
The company has released two new Android phones simultaneously in its three countries of operation -- Ghana, Nigeria and The Gambia.

West Africa's biggest ICT and mobile phone manufacturing company, Rlg, has released two new Android phones simultaneously in its three countries of operation — Ghana, Nigeria and The Gambia.

The Ghanaian company released the Viva and the Fusion Ignite across as part of a host of new products it plans to offers before the end of the year.

The Viva runs on the Android 4.0 OS, offering 3G and Wi-Fi functions, dual SIM slots, a 3.5-inch screen. It comes in blue, with a grip-based back cover, plus a white option. The Fusion Ignite comes with a 5.0 -inch screen. The new phones are priced between 499 Ghanaian new cedi (US$167) and 540 new cedi.

The phones were introduced to meet African users' specific needs, according to Rig Retail and Key Account Manager Keiko Watanabe.

"The devices are very affordable and very easy to use," he said. "They is targeted at the youth mainly but functionally to all who want a first-time smartphone experience. The Viva now comes with a special deal: each package has in it a free portable charger called smart charge — Rlg's very own portable mobile charger."

When the company entered Nigeria in 2011, it was touted as a giant step in Rlg's bid to become a leading integrated ICT company in West Africa within the next two years by capturing 80 percent of the regional market.

Its further expansion to The Gambia in 2013 complemented its strategy to push the sales of its own products, which face tough competition from Chinese imports, in a region with about 300 million people.

Watanabe says the "unbeatable" pricing of the products and their durability would set them apart from other Android phones in the market.

Rlg's release came in the wake of Samsung's introduction of its new large-format smartphone, the Galaxy Note 3, to Africa early this week, making it available in East and West Africa within days of the European release on Wednesday as part of its strong commitment to a pan-African strategy.

"In the category of large-screen formats, we have over 95 percent market share across Africa," said George Ferreira, vice-president and chief operating officer of Samsung Africa.

Last month, officials of Huawei Technologies say the company plans to double its smartphone sales in Nigeria this year as it seeks to boost its global market share.


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