Thanks for sharing this Anirudh.
Gives us a good idea of the global scenario on Wiki access in 'third-world'
On Tue, Dec 11, 2012 at 4:19 PM, Anirudh Bhati <anirudh...@gmail.com> wrote:
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> From: Amit Kapoor <akap...@wikimedia.org>
> Date: Tue, Dec 11, 2012 at 5:09 AM
> Subject: [Wmfcc-l] TechCrunch: $50 Android Smartphones Are Disrupting
> Africa Much Faster Than You Think, Says Wikipedia’s Jimmy Wales
> To: Communications Committee <wmfc...@lists.wikimedia.org>
> $50 Android Smartphones Are Disrupting Africa Much Faster Than You Think,
> Says Wikipedia’s Jimmy Wales
> What phone does Wikipedia <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page> founder
> Jimmy Wales have in his pocket? An unlocked Android-powered 3G smartphone,
> made by Chinese mobile maker Huawei – which was selling for $85 on the
> streets of Kenya last year and now goes for $50.
> While the majority of Africa’s mobile phones are more basic talk-plus-text
> feature phones — recent figures from analyst ABI
> 3G connectivity accounts for 11 percent of the continent’s overall mobile
> subscriptions vs. GSM’s 62.7 percent – 300,000 of these $50 Android
> smartphones have been sold in Kenya, according to Wales and African carrier
> Safaricom’s CEO Bob Collymore. The pair were speaking at Vodafone’s Mobile
> for Good summit taking place in London today.
> “What I always thought about mobile in Africa…is this [smartphone
> adoption] is coming in the future — in the future someday,” said Wales.
> “Well the someday’s happening faster than I ever realised.”
> Wales’ own budget Android was brought back from Kenya by a friend and is
> now his personal smartphone. “The screen is a little smaller than the
> iPhone, it’s not quite as good but the battery lasts two days,” he joked.
> The Wikipedia founder has been spending the past couple of years working on
> Wikipedia Zero <http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Wikipedia_Zero> – a
> project that’s aiming to broaden access to the online encyclopedia to those
> who don’t own a computer or can’t get access to 3G mobile data – but he
> says the pace of smartphone adoption in Africa is changing the digital
> landscape of the continent much faster than people think.
> The pace caught Wikipedia by surprise. The not-for-profit organisation had
> been focusing its emerging markets’ efforts on India but is now paying a
> lot more attention to Africa, thanks to the growth in ownership of cheap,
> Android-powered handsets — like the one in Wales’ pocket.
> “This phone actually woke my mind up,” said Wales, pulling the handset out
> of his pocket and holding it up. “This is what really got me energised to
> say let’s go back and take another look at Africa, because we had focused
> most of our attention on India with the view that it was ready for us to do
> “If you go and you take a look at the numbers [of smartphone adoption in
> Africa]… the upward trend — obviously it’s still a very small penetration –
> but that upward trend is there really strongly. If you look at the total
> bandwidth into Nigeria, for example, it’s skyrocketing.
> “Things that are very hard for us to all imagine are going to happen much
> faster than we realise,” he added. “People are going to be coming online
> for the first time. There’s this vibrant community of young app developers
> growing in Kenya and Nigeria.
> “It’s mind-boggling to think what the possibilities are — and I’m super
> excited about it.”
> Amit Kapoor
> Mobile Partnerships
> Wikimedia Foundation
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