What phone does Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales have in his pocket? An unlocked Android-powered 3G smartphone, made by Chinese mobile maker Huawei – which was selling for $85 on the streets of Kenya last year and now goes for $50.
While the majority of Africa’s mobile phones are more basic talk-plus-text feature phones — recent figures from analyst ABI Research suggest 3G connectivity accounts for 11 percent of the continent’s overall mobile subscriptions vs GSM’s 62.7 percent – 300,000 of these $50 Android smartphones have been sold in Kenya, according to Wales and African carrier Safaricom’s CEO Bob Collymore. The pair were speaking at Vodafone’s Mobile for Good summit taking place in London today.
“What I always thought about mobile in Africa… is this [smartphone adoption] is coming in the future — in the future someday,” said Wales. “Well the someday’s happening faster than I ever realised.”
Wales’ own budget Android was brought back from Kenya by a friend and is now his personal smartphone. “The screen is a little smaller than the iPhone, it’s not quite as good but the battery lasts two days,” he joked.
The Wikipedia founder has been spending the past couple of years working on Wikipedia Zero – a project that’s aiming to broaden access to the online encyclopedia to those who don’t own a computer or can’t get access to 3G mobile data – but he says the pace of smartphone adoption in African is changing the digital landscape of the continent much faster than people think.
The pace caught Wikipedia by surprise – the not-for-profit organisation had been focusing its emerging markets’ efforts on India but is now paying a lot more attention to Africa, thanks to the growth in ownership of cheap, Android-powered handsets — like the one in Wales’ pocket.
“This phone actually woke my mind up,” said Wales, pulling the handset out of his pocket and holding it up. “This is what really got me energised to say let’s go back and take another look at Africa, because we had focused most of our attention on India with the view that it was ready for us to do things.”
“If you go and you take a look at the numbers [of smartphone adoption in Africa]… the upward trend — obviously it’s still a very small penetration – but that upward trend is there really strongly. If you look at the total bandwidth into Nigeria, for example, it’s skyrocketing.
“Things that are very hard for us to all imagine are going to happen much faster than we realise,” he added. “People are going to be coming online for the first time. There’s this vibrant community of young app developers growing in Kenya and Nigeria.
“It’s mind-boggling to think what the possibilities are — and I’m super excited about it.”
Go here to see the original: $50 Android Smartphones Are Disrupting Africa Much Faster Than You Think, Says Wikipedia’s Jimmy Wales
I’ve written before on my distaste of crowd-sourcing and spec work in the graphic design industry, but in the event of wild contests and charity work, my perspective shifts. As for today’s launch of 99nonprofits by 99designs, this new initative to bring free designs to non-profits has won me over.
Here’s how 99nonprofits will work: A total of 99 non-profit organizations will be selected by 99designs to host free design contests, and if all works out, the organization will leave with a slick design, and the winning designer will be paid directly by 99designs for his or her work.
Here’s a list of the first 7 participating organizations:
According to 99designs CEO Patrick Llewellyn, the company has hosted “thousands of contests for not-for-profit organizations” since 2008, and now, 99nonprofits has the potential to “provide a streamlined platform for evaluating requests, granting aid and working closely with participants every step of the way.”
If you work for a non-profit organization and want to try and get in on this new initiative, you can submit an application here. For more, check out the site via the link below:
Those dull 20-minute+ commutes to work are certainly made a lot easier by the plethora of games available on our smartphones – take your pick from Angry Birds, Cut The Rope, Draw Something and thousands more.
Now, however, fans of the perennially popular Football Manager series can continue their addiction to the beautiful game wherever they roam, with a trimmed-down version for Android hitting Google Play today.
Football Manager Handheld has been on iOS for a couple of years already, and the 2012 edition has been on iOS devices for a few weeks. However, the news that it has finally been ported over to Google-powered smartphones will please millions of people.
Developed by Sports Interactive and published by Sega, Football Manager Handheld 2012 isn’t just a direct translation of the hugely popular PC game, instead it has been built with the shorter-term player in mind.
The games lets you to take charge of any club in leagues covering 12 countries (Australia, Belgium, Brazil, England, France, Germany, Holland, Italy, Portugal, Scotland, Spain and Wales), and you control transfers, training, tactics and managing your team during matches.
You can tackle this job either in commute-sized chunks, or in mammoth sittings whilst sprawled on the sofa.
Football Manager Handheld 2012 has been designed for Android devices using OS 2.2 and above, and weighs in at a whopping 27MB.
It’s also worth noting that it’s not free…the game will set you back £6.99 ($11 USD/€8.5 EUR), and it’s available in English, French, Spanish and Italian.
Go here to read the rest: Football Manager Handheld is available for Android smartphones now