Feature phones are getting smarter – and that is a good thing. Orange unveils Sanza, a smart feature phone with capabilities to do voice assistance. The device goes for $20. In a continent where many remain largely non-literate, this is a good one. The mission: “Sanza will help overcome language and literacy challenges, as our customers can access information and applications on the device easily, just with their voice, and without having to type.”
The future of African computing will include voice which will is already emerging as an operating system platform. Anyone that wins that battle will redefine the future. Today, Google through its amalgam of efforts is leading the way. Stanza will take the message of Google to millions, powered by Orange!
Computing delivered through voice will be more appealing there over the present text-based format. For entrepreneurs with capacity to do voice, this will be highly rewarding in places like Africa.
From the press release….
At Mobile World Congress, Orange partners with KaiOS Technologies and UNISOC to launch a phone with voice recognition at $US 20 in 16 countries in Africa and the Middle-East : Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central Africa Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, Guinea Bissau, Guinea Conakry, Jordan, Liberia, Madagascar, Mali, Morocco, Sierra Leone and Tunisia.
An affordable 3G smart feature phone
Beginning April 2019, Orange customers in Mali, Burkina Faso and Côte d’Ivoire will have access to a new category of smart feature phones powered by KaiOS, the operating system from KaiOS Technologies. The other countries will follow in the year. Sanza will be commercialised with a dedicated offer (voice/text/data) starting around $US 20 (depending of the country), that will help customers to optimise their budget.
KaiOS Technologies powers an ecosystem of affordable digital products and services. Its flagship product, KaiOS, is the emerging mobile operating system for smart feature phones with more than 50 million active users in over 100 countries. Kai’s mission is to help close the digital divide by bringing mobile connectivity to the billions of people without internet in emerging markets, as well as providing those in established markets with an alternative to smartphones. KaiOS is based on HTML5 and other open web technologies. Devices running on the platform require limited memory, while still offering a rich user experience through access to apps like the Google Assistant, YouTube, Facebook, Google Maps, and Twitter.
Sanza has the simplicity of a feature phone powered by the UNISOC SC7731EF chipset platform with a long-lasting battery life up to 5 days, 3G+, Torch, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, combined with advanced smartphone-like functionalities.
Advanced functionalities for Africans
Thanks to the Google Assistant, Sanza will help overcome language and literacy challenges, as our customers can access information and applications on the device easily, just with their voice, and without having to type. The Google Assistant understands multiple French and English accents, with more languages to come later this year. The phone menu is available in Arabic, Swahili, Portuguese, English and French.
This new phone will also give access to applications such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Google Search and Google Maps, as well as Orange Money, the flagship mobile-based money transfer and financial services offer and My Orange, the application to monitor your mobile consumption, among other things.
As a core subsidiary of Tsinghua Unigroup, UNISOC is a leading fabless semiconductor company committed to the independent R&D of core chipsets in mobile communications and IoT. Its products cover mobile chipset platforms supporting 2G / 3G / 4G / 5G communication standards, RF chipsets, wireless connection chipsets, security chipsets, TV chipsets, and image sensor chipsets. With more than 4,500 staff, 14 R&D centers and 8 customer support centers around the world(as of Oct 2018), UNISOC has been one of the top 3 mobile baseband chipset suppliers in the world, the largest pan-chip provider in China, and the leading 5G communications chipset design company in China.