We have talked about it for years, and looked forward to it. Now, it is a reality – a sub $50 smartphone. It is almost unbelievable, but it is here, and courtesy of MTN South Africa.
The Steppa is a white label Qualcomm reference design, with a customized user interface (UI), and having the following features:
– Android Gingerbread 2.3.5
– a 3.5-inch 320×480 pixel screen
– Dual SIM
– single-core 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon CPU
– 512MB of RAM
– FM radio
– a 1,300 mAh battery
– 2 megapixel camera
– Google Play integration
– Bluetooth 3.0
– 125g weight
– 121.4 x 63.2 x 11.8 mm size
There is no question about it that pretty much like the Huawei Gaga was, the Steppa is a game-changer in the smartphone market. It is phones like this one that will effectively kill the feature phone. $50 is roughly N7,500. Think about that. You have all the standard features and capabilities of Android OS at rock bottom cost. You can forget software updates at this price point though. But then, it is mostly techies and geeks who drool over that. The target market for the Steppa are happy with their phones the way they are shipped.
It is interesting how the bottom of the pyramid revolution has had Qualcomm’s fingerprints all over it for some years now. Jolly good show.
Founder of MobilityArena. Yomi’s journey in mobile started in 2001. Besides obsessing over mobile phones, he also started creating WAP sites (early mobile-friendly websites created with WML). He began writing about phones in 2004 and has been at it since then. He has owned over 200 devices, from Symbian, Palm, PocketPC/Windows Mobile, BlackBerry/BB10, webOS, Windows Phone, Firefox, Ubuntu Touch, to Android, iOS, and KaiOS operating systems.