Mi-Fone (BVI) Ltd has launched a new range of low cost QWERTY mobile phones which are affordable, stylish and a quality competitive mobile to the Blackberry which, in recent years, has been dominating the messaging segment of the mobile phone market globally. Targeting primarily the young African market, Mi-Fone sees the Mi-Q Range as the perfect alternative.
"The young African is techno-savvy, stylish and plugged into the global network through their mobile phones. They have often been hampered by the lack of cost-effective yet quality and technologically advanced handsets that enable them to stay easily connected considering the many challenges in ensuring decent connectivity", said Mr Nicolas Regisford, Mi-Fone Chief Marketing Officer.
"He / she needs a device that is stylish and fulfils the different functions that the mobile phone has become in their life while, at the same time, we cannot overlook the critical need for financially accessible devices, and that is what we are doing. We are providing mobile phones that are both technologically current and affordable," Mr Regisford continued.
With the estimated number of mobile phone users in Africa reaching in excess of 400 million, an estimated 20% increase since 2008, the competition for the African mobile phone user has been intense and constant. Mi-Fone is perfectly poised to weigh in.
With this range, Mi-Fone is providing the young African with everything he or she needs in a QWERTY handset including Email, Instant Messaging, and Uploading and Downloading of documents. At the bottom end is the basic Mi-Q+ with GPRS Class 10, WAP 2.0, capacity to receive and send MMS, FM radio, a torchlight and the Qwerty keypad for faster sms. There is the dual-sim Mi-Q1 has GPRS/WAP/MMS and MP3/Video capabilities with a memory capacity of up to 1G, serving as an effective multimedia Qwerty mobile and a singular device for those with more than a single sim card, which is prevalent amongst young Africans as a way to counteract high call costs between networks.
The Mi-Q5 comes with all of the above, as well as Bluetooth, and is capable of running Java applications such as the new MI-APPS initiative which combines instant messaging and push email under and an integrated format together with social apps such as Facebook, MSN, etc. It can also take a memory card giving it greater capacity and is the option of being able to run Analogue television.
To support the launch of these devices, Mi-Fone has also initiated an advertising campaign that is reflective of its consumers and the spirit of its mobile phones: capable, trendy, confident, cheeky, and uncompromising.
It is feisty and brash, taking the battle for the young African consumer directly to other mobile phone manufacturers. It is edgy and risky, unashamedly announcing Mi-Fone’s foray into the QWERTY space.
It is about recognising your ability and capacity to move mountains. It is impetuous yet not foolhardy. Africans today tire of being the whipping boys of the globe and are standing up and working for what they deserve, carving a place for themselves. So too is Mi-Fone with this campaign, the first of which launches the Mi-QWERTY range driven by the tag line "Darker The Berry .. The Sweeter The Juice".
"The Mi-Q family is designed to give our young African consumers a ‘Blackberry experience’ at a fraction of the cost, while maintaining a high aesthetic. Our advertising campaign is meant to incite and evoke and inform our target market. It may be tongue-in-cheek but it also clearly demonstrates our willingness to compete for our market, which has been side-lined by the bigger brands through pricing," explains Mr Regisford.
This Is Africa and Mi-Fone is paving the way in demonstrating that what others can do, we can do better, on our terms. It is an African brand, taking an African approach to both the products it is developing as well as how it is sharing them with its market. It is the darkest berry, with the sweetest juice.