Vodacom Tanzania PLC, Tanzania’s leading cellular network company, has today announced the launch of the first smart feature phone, Smart Kitochi, operating on KaiOS, the leading mobile operating system for smart feature phones. This new launch serves as a milestone, not only for both companies, but the country, as it is the first smart feature phone available in the Tanzanian market, starting at a discounted price of TZS 48,000 ($ 20). The device also comes with a special offer from Vodacom which include a monthly bundle of 4GB data, 100 Mins Talktime and 500 SMS for the first 6 months
The Smart Kitochi comes with access to popular apps like WhatsApp, The Google Assistant, Facebook, YouTube, and many more giving more Tanzanians access to the internet society. Equipped with smartphone-like features such as Wi-Fi, GPS, the device also comes with a hybrid dual-SIM slot that can support two SIM cards with 4GB + 512MB RAM memory. It also boasts a powerful 1400 mAh battery which enables up to 6 hours of talking time. While exclusively available in Tanzania upon release today, the device will be available in other African countries soon.
“We’re excited to introduce the first smart feature phone in the market alongside our partner KaiOS Technologies,” says George Lugata, Vodacom’s Executive Head of Sales. “Despite wide coverage of network in the country, we still face a challenge of digital divide caused by low smartphone penetration so by introducing the Smart Kitochi, we’ll bring valuable digital services and information to this market at a price that people can afford.”
KaiOS is a light operating system which enables a new category of affordable smart feature phones that require limited memory, while still offering a rich user experience. It supports 3G and 4G/LTE, Wi-Fi, GPS, and NFC. KaiOS-enabled phones come with popular apps and services like WhatsApp, Google Assistant, Facebook, YouTube, and Google Maps, as well as a store for apps called the KaiStore with over two hundred essential apps and counting, from global and local content providers. It is now the third largest mobile operating system worldwide, running on over 100 million devices shipped across Europe, Africa, Asia and Americas.
“The digital divide across Africa as a whole remains very large,” adds Sebastien Codeville, CEO of KaiOS Technologies. “We’re incredibly focused on establishing partnerships and delivering mobile technology that addresses this issue, which is why we’re so thrilled to be working with Vodacom. The Smart Kitochi is a key step in connecting those who remain disconnected from mobile internet and all of the valuable resources in Tanzania and beyond.”
“Smart Kitochi is available now across all Vodacom shops and service desks in the country at a discounted price of Tzs. 48,000. Therefore, I encourage our customers to buy these devices so they can make use of our Mtandao Supa using apps like Facebook, whatsApp, YouTube and more using the smart feature phone “Concluded Lugata.