MTN launches sub-R250 smartphone, the Smart S

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Mobile operator MTN has announced it’s got a new MTN-branded smartphone heading to its stores, and it’s ridiculously affordably priced. The MTN Smart S handset will retail for a mere R249.

MTN hadn’t provided specifications of the Smart S at time of writing, saying only that the device runs the KaiOS operating system. We’ve asked for more details and will update this story when we get them.

The operator says the Smart S comes with “a monthly allocation of 100 MB of data valid for 30 days, for [the]first six months and 1GB of WhatsApp bundles, valid for 20 days, for [the]first six months”. Why 20 days for the WhatsApp bundle? Presumably so users have to either buy another WhatsApp bundle, or standalone data (because that 100MB allocation isn’t likely to last beyond the 2nd of the month).

“We are living in a country where affordability of smart devices is one of the biggest barriers to internet access. By introducing this cutting-edge device at such an affordable price, MTN will help its customers, particularly students, small businesses and others that may have avoided traditional smart phones due to the cost, to become part of the information society at an accessible price,” says Jacqui O’Sullivan, MTN South Africa’s executive for corporate affairs.

“The device comes at a right time as we recently launched MTN Chat recharging channel, which puts customers in charge by allowing them to conveniently top up airtime and data bundles on the popular instant messaging platform, WhatsApp,” she adds.

Consumers can get the Smart S at MTN outlets and its partner retailers now.

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