13 February 2013

Kenya: Safaricom Sells Out of Intel's Yolo

Safaricom sold out through its initial inventory of 5,000 Intel Yolo phones in less than 14 days. The phone, a product of Intel and Safaricom's research was launched in Kenya on the 24th of January, 2013.

Peter Arina, Safaricom's Director of the Consumer Business Unit said the firm had stocked 5,000 initial units. The device features Android Ice Cream Sandwich 4.1, which Intel says will be upgraded to 4.2. Physical specs include 4 Gigabytes of storage, a 3.5 inch display, a 5 megapixel rear camera and High Speed 3G.

Speaking to CIO East Africa last week, Safaricom Director of Corporate Affairs, Nzioka Waita, said that the depletion of initial stock had seen the device's price briefly hike to KSh. 12,975 , which is its price without subsidies. The Yolo is now priced at KSh. 11,000 with 500 Mb of Safaricom data, worth KSh. 1,000.

Nzioka also said that the firm would no longer be subsidising feature phones, as the move didn't make much sense compared to subsidising smartphones, which earn the operator more in term of data consumption.

Communications of Kenya Statistics as of September 2012 show that Kenya had 8.5 million Internet subscriptions, with 8.4 million of them being mobile Internet subscriptions. The same statistics show that Safaricom had 5.6 million Internet subscribers.

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