KaiOS, the operating system that powers 110-million smart featurephones, has launched a new $25 (₦9,000) handset with device maker Tecno.

TECNO Mobile on Thursday launched its latest 3G phone named ‘Tecno T901,’ the first of its device to run on KaiOS, the leading mobile operating system for smart feature phones. The company in a statement today said the launch “is a significant step for both companies in closing the digital divide by bringing users–previously inhibited by device affordability–online for the first time.”

Speaking on the launch, the Managing Director of TECNO Mobile, Stephen Ha, said: “with the arrival of T901 powered by KaiOS, users gain access to apps such as WhatsApp, YouTube, Google Maps, and others on an affordable TECNO smart feature phone for the first time.

“T901 also comes equipped with the Google Assistant, allowing users to operate the device with their voice. “With all these features, TECNO is practicing our commitment to allowing the consumers to reach beyond their current limitations and uncover a world of possibilities.” Also commenting, Sebastien Codeville, CEO of KaiOS Technologies, noted that “launching with TECNO is a significant milestone for both our companies.” He added: “The digital divide in Africa remains large, and we’re thrilled to be working side-by-side with TECNO to eliminate it. Visit any African city and you will understand how important TECNO is on the continent, with stores on nearly every corner; we can’t wait to see the KaiOS-enabled T901 show up in all of these outlets.”

The keypad-based handset has popular apps like WhatsApp, Facebook, YouTube, Google Maps, Twitter and Google Assistant; and has built-in GPS and Wi-Fi.

The T901 can take two SIM cards, has a 4-inch QVGA display and a 1900mAh battery which enables 25 days of standby time and up to 19 hours of calls. It has a front and rear camera, and built-in flash.

The new device comes embedded with both a front and a rear camera with built-in flash light, which enables clearer photos even at night and in other dark environments.
Calling it a significant milestone for both companies, KaiOS Technologies CEO Sebastien Codeville says “the digital divide in Africa remains large, and we’re thrilled to be working with Tecno to eliminate it”.

Tecno Mobile managing director Stephen Ha said the increased data speed means better calls and less interference than 2G, while the T901′s inclusion of Google Assistant means people can user their voice to operate it.

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