African handset manufacturer launches new affordable device range

The handset manufacturer Mi-Fone  has launched the Mi-Q200 family of devices, which are bundled with Synchronica's Mobile Gateway next-generation mobile messaging technology.

Launched in 2008, Mi-Fone has signed several contracts to supply its handsets to large mobile operators in the Middle East and Africa. The brand is focused on developing aspirational, affordable handsets aimed at the tech-savvy African and Indian youth market.

Available immediately at a retail cost in the region of USD 80, the Mi-Q200 QWERTY handsets are powered by Synchronica's white-labelled Mobile Gateway infrastructure software. With push email, data synchronization, instant messaging and access to popular social networks, the Mi-Q200 family of devices provides a BlackBerry-like service at an affordable price.

With 34 mobile operator customers already licensing Mobile Gateway in the Middle East and Africa, Synchronica has become a significant player in this fast-growing region. Mi-Fone is Synchronica's first handset manufacturer customer to exclusively focus on the Middle East and Africa, and Synchronica will benefit from a monthly per-user hosting fee in addition to licence fees and a twelve-month support and maintenance contract.

Mi-Fone's Mi-Q200 family of devices is based on the popular MediaTek platform optimized for Mobile Gateway to provide messaging services directly to the native clients found on the device. This unique approach delivers the best possible user experience with minimal memory footprint, enabling smartphone-like features even on these affordable devices.

Alpesh Patel, Founder and CEO of Mi-Fone, comments: "Synchronica's Mobile Gateway mass market advanced messaging solution stands out from competitive solutions because we can brand it as our own and because it allows us to deliver a great, BlackBerry-like user experience on our latest Mi-Q handset models. We expect these devices to be a hit with the young, urban Africans that want a cool phone without an expensive price tag."

According to the Informa report Africa's Mobile Telecoms Market (April 2010), there is tremendous potential for subscriber growth in Africa given that there were just over 450 million active subscriptions across the region at the end of 2009, a penetration rate below 45 percent. The significant market potential in Africa is illustrated by Informa's forecast that mobile data revenues will rise from USD 4.45 billion in 2009 to USD 10.64 billion in 2014.

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