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PAYG financing looks to unlock smartphone affordability in Africa

Smartphone affordability has constrained mobile broadband adoption in Sub-Saharan Africa, particularly 4G, which at just 8% lags the global average (46%) by a considerable margin. At the recent GSMA Mobile 360 – Africa event, two initiatives aimed at bringing affordable smartphones to consumers were showcased: a $22 entry-level smart featurephone running on KaiOS; and a high-spec $150 Android smartphone offered on a pay-as-you-go finance basis by startup Maraphone. While both look to unlock smartphone affordability, payment plans that enable better specifications and experience may in the long term be the key for Africa’s youthful and aspirational population.

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