Mobile providers offer cheap smartphones

By Staff Writer
Smartphone prices have slowly been dropping over the past year, as new brands enter the market and it becomes more saturated.  

Adding to the mix, Vodacom and MTN have brought out two new smartphones to their technology range.

The two telecommunication companies have been launching smartphones and tablets for a few years now.

It’s anyone’s guess how well these products will do. Currently South African mobile phone operators are in the dog box with consumers and, in some cases, workers alike.

MTN, for example, is facing lots of problems with strikes that have caused call centres to close down, and to boot it’s been the subject of price hike criticism from consumers.

Could a cheap smartphone help the company find solid ground with its consumers?

Vodacom Smart 6

Vodacom has launched the Vodacom Smart 6 smartphone, a four inch handset with a full Android 4.4 (KitKat).

The Smart 6 can be purchased on prepaid for R799 as well as on a range of packages, including the uChoose flexi 110 for R99 per month.

Prepaid customers who purchase the device and activate it on the Vodacom network will receive 100MB of data per month for free for the first six months.

The data allocation will take place every 30 days from activation, provided that the SIM card inserted at activation is still in the device.  This promotion will run until 30 November 2015.

“The Smart 6 is the latest Vodacom device to launch in South Africa with the express purpose of making the cost to connect to South Africa’s best network with the  fastest mobile internet more affordable, particularly when combined with Vodacom’s low-cost data plans,” said Vodacom.

In February 2015 Ookla Data showed that Vodacom offers the fastest mobile internet data speed in South Africa.

“The Smart 6 is one of our best value-for-money, high performance smartphone that will enable more of our customers to join the mobile data revolution. At R799 per month it’s essentially a smartphone for the price of a feature phone,” said Davide Tacchino, Vodacom’s managing executive of terminals.

Cheaper prices for Steppa 2

Last year MTN launched the Steppa 2 after there was an overwhelming response to the Steppa, said MTN.

“We simply loved how it gave people access to the wonderful world of smartphones without having to break the bank,” said MTN.

The MTN Steppa 2’s price has been revised down from R999 to R799.

“The reduced cost of the Steppa 2 will ensure that more consumers are able to afford what is already the most affordable high-performance smartphone in the market […]. This is just one way that MTN is demonstrating its commitment to attaining its vision of leading the delivery of a bold new digital world,” says Larry Annetts, chief marketing officer of MTN South Africa.

The MTN Steppa 2 runs Android 4.3 operating system, which means you’ll have access to the endless amount of Android apps available on the market.

The smartphone comes preloaded with some starter apps, such as Facebook, Twitter, AVG Anti-Virus and helpful MTN apps such as myMTNza.

MyMTNza helps MTN customers to control the most important aspects of their MTN account, like buying data bundles and checking their remaining balance.

For a list of the top 10 cheapest smartphones in South Africa, click here

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