Orange Kenya estimates smartphone penetration in the country to be between 20-25%. That means that a majority of Kenyans still don’t have a smartphone and as a result are either locked from accessing mobile internet powered apps and services like social media and news or they can still do the same but from feature phones. So what is needed to get more Kenyans buying and using smartphones? They need to be affordable, of course. Affordability is what has driven Orange Kenya’s other low cost offerings in the market so far. For instance its Kaduda feature phone has sold over half a million units since February according to Vincent Camadro, the Chief Marketing Officer.
Affordability is the main drive towards the launch of the first Firefox operating system smartphone in Kenya, the Orange Klif. Firefox OS is being pushed by the Mozilla Foundation, a non-profit organization. They are not after the money, they say. Their main aim is to provide users with a device that serves their needs perfectly without breaking the bank. Actually, the main target of the Orange Klif smartphone is those Kenyans who currently don’t own a smartphone.
The Orange Klif will go for Ksh 4,000.
What does the Orange Klif bring to the table besides being affordable?
- It has an easy to use user interface. It is not as complicated as Android can be for newbies neither is it too simple to get anything serious done. Firefox OS is built on the premise that more and more services can be accessed via the biggest platform in the world, the web, on mobile. Users can make their first phone call and send their first text moments after booting up the phone for the very first time. There is no lengthy account setup process.
- Orange and Mozilla understand that Kenyans love using social media so much. The Klif comes bundled with Facebook and Twitter applications. There’s no Whatsapp but there’s a workaround. Since Whatsapp is available on Android, it can be easily ported to Firefox OS devices. Users can be shown how to go about doing so at the various Orange shops across the country where the device will be on sale. Or they can do it themselves easily using the ConnectA2 application found in the Firefox Marketplace.
- Talking about the Firefox Marketplace, Mozilla is urging local developers to take advantage of the new app store to create locally relevant applications that will be of benefit to users. The Klif will have several apps from Orange and a few other partners bundled. These include Orange Football, Star Africa and “the YouTube of France”, Daily Motion.
- Orange will also be giving buyers of the Klif 500 MB data recurring for 4 months.
Specifications of the Orange Klif can be found here.
Kenya now joins several other countries where the Klif has been launched through Orange. These include Egypt, Tunisia, Senegal, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Niger, Mali, Botswana, Madagascar, Jordan and Vanuatu.
Since Orange Kenya is positioning the Klif as a very affordable smartphone, we’re keen to see if it will be able to unseat the Safaricom Neon smartphone which will be going on sale at the same price during the upcoming Safaricom Open Day. The Neon is Android-based but the Klif is a dual SIM smartphone and is easily the cheapest dual SIM smartphone in the Kenyan market at the moment. The Neon on the other hand has been one of the best sellers at its price point and is only rivaled by the more expensive Samsung Galaxy J1.