Mobile phone manufacturers are always striving to push out the cheapest smartphones, and Vodacom has just fired the next salvo in the cheap smartphone race.

Announced today, the mobile operator will release the Smart Kicka, the first Vodacom-branded phone, with the aim of making mobile data more accessible to a larger portion of the population.

“At the moment only 27% of people living in South Africa’s emerging markets have access to smart devices. We aim to double that number in the next year. The Smart Kicka is not only affordable, coming in at around the $50 level, but also offers the best from a technology perspective. Put simply it gives users the best possible internet experience without breaking the bank,” Phil Patel, Vodacom’s chief commercial officer, said in a statement.

The unit runs on Android 4.4 KitKat, has 4GB of memory, a 3.5-inch screen, 1.0 GHz Dual-core processor, and a 2 mega-pixel camera at the rear. To sweeten the data deal a bit, Vodacom revealed that it will also come with five free 50 megabyte Power Bundles.

“By including Power Bundles we’re making it easy for first time internet users to experience the web – whether it’s downloading music or catching up with friends on Facebook,” said Patel.

He also added that he believes that the bundle package will be the way forward for the country in terms of getting everyone connected to the internet.

“Our strategy is to provide customers, particularly those on tight budgets, with exactly what they need, when they need it, and at a price they can afford. Much has been said about bringing down prices for those consuming large amounts of voice and data, but this bundle strategy is the key to driving internet penetration for all South Africans.”

[Source – Vodacom]
Charlie started his professional life as a motoring journalist for a community newspaper in Mpumalanga, Charlie explored different journalistic angles since his entry into the fast-paced world of publishing in 2006. While fostering a passion for the arts, Charlie developed a love for technology – both which allowed him to serve as Entertainment and Technology Editor for an online publication. Charlie has since been heavily involved in consumer technology for various websites and publications. He thoroughly enjoys World War II films and cerebral documentaries; aviation; photography and indie music. Oh yes, and he also has a rather strange obsession with collecting coffee mugs from his travels.