In partnership with Google, Mara is set to release the Mara X for the African market in the second quarter of 2018.
The Mara X smartphone will be launched as part of Google’s Android One portfolio.
It will run the latest operating system, Android 8.0 Oreo; will get two years of OS upgrades; and the device has been optimised for the Google Assistant.
With unlimited photo storage from Google Photos and a curated set of pre-installed apps, the Mara X makes sure African users have enough space for their apps. Regular security updates and Google Play Protect are also built in.
“Across Africa and in other emerging markets, we need smartphones that are both extremely affordable and high quality,” says Mara chairman Jagdish Thakkar. “These phones will give people the ability to improve their lives through accessing information online and using them for trade and financial services.”
Siya Chug, brand director at Mara, describes the phone as a “proudly African brand”.
Mara Group began as a small IT business in Uganda, and has since expanded to the globally recognized multi-sector investment group that it is today, employing over 14 000 people across 25 African countries and three continents.
“The Mara X is a device that people can have fun with, learn with and use to build a better future. Africa is seeing a new generation of entrepreneurs looking for mobile technology to help run their businesses, and the Mara X will work for them to pursue greater heights. Our continent is expected to have over 700-million smartphones within a few years, and that connectivity will truly transform lives,” says Mara founder, Ashish Thakkar.