A 30-year-old tech entrepreneur is hoping to dominate Nigeria’s mobile phone market by growing a company that places more focus on user experience rather than the actual hardware that many other tech giants compete over.
The Nigerian entrepreneur, Michael Akindele, is the director and co-founder of SOLO Phone, “an experience-driven digital content and smartphone company focused on delivering the best content and services on the mobile platform to African consumers,” Forbes reported.
While most mobile companies are already engaged in a grueling war over who has the best hardware specifications, the SOLO executives made a wise decision — find a different way to approach the market.
While Apple is the biggest tech giant in the mobile phone space that has also been focusing on user experience, the phone is often too expensive for Nigeria’s market.
That left an opportunity for SOLO to fill that void.
“SOLO is an emerging markets play,” Akindele told Forbes. “SOLO is an experience-driven device manufacturer with a vision to provide the best content and services to the African and emerging markets consumer at an affordable price that not only delivers tremendous value for money but also enriches their lives. The foundation of SOLO is built on delivering key value added services in critical enterprise verticals such as education, health care and commerce, to mention a few.”
With this type of business model, many would argue that SOLO’s partnerships are much more valuable to the brand than its hardware specs, although those are still important pieces of the package.
The difference, however, is the shift in focus. So while an emerging mobile phone company may find it hard to go head-to-head with Apple when it comes to screen resolution, camera quality or battery life, it may be more possible that an emerging company can hold its own when it comes to the type of apps and digital content that is already available on the devices.
“Today, SOLO offers affordable smartphones bundled with free music — up to 20 million songs licensed from Sony, Universal and Warner,” Akindele continued. “This innovation was possible because of partners that believe in the SOLO vision. We also recently launched a Video-On-Demand app available to all Android devices in Nigeria offering the latest Nollywood and Hollywood movies from global movie studies such as Disney, Universal Studios and Sony Pictures.”
Akindele said SOLO’s market approach has paid off so far with consumers receiving the “offerings relatively well.”
“In our first year, we established strong distribution network across Nigeria by partnering with key smartphone retailers,” he said. “Furthermore, we’ve also partnered with primary ecommerce platforms to drive adoption and sales of our device and services.”
The company is currently working on dominating Nigeria’s mobile market but has future plans of expanding all throughout the African continent.
With an affordable product and a new perspective on how to attract consumers to its mobile devices, SOLO’s dreams of an African takeover could very well become a reality as the continent’s tech market continues to develop.