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Intel makes mobile push into Africa with Yolo smartphone

Intel's Lexington Atom chip, the Z2420, will be used to power a new Android device, the Yolo, in Kenya.
Written by Jo Best, Contributor on

Intel's efforts to establish itself more in the smartphone market appears to making some progress, with the launch of the first Intel-based smartphone in Africa.

The Yolo smartphone, which is based on an Intel reference design and uses the 'Lexington' Atom chip, Z2420, is being sold by Kenyan mobile operator Safaricom.

Safaricom, which has around 65 percent market share in the country, is selling the phone for 10,999 Kenyan shillings (around £80 or $125) with 500MB of data included.

yolo-intel
The Yolo phone will be on sale this month. Credit: Intel

The Yolo has a 3.5 touchscreen, 5 megapixel camera, HSPA+ support, and an expandable memory slot. It will also run Android.

The reference design that Yolo is based on was announced by Intel at the CES trade show in January. Acer and Lava are also thought to be producing devices based on the design and using the Z2420, which delivers speeds up to 1.2Ghz.

Intel-powered handsets are still relatively new – the first was the San Diego, sold by Orange in the UK last year, and followed by the RAZRi some month later. However, the launch of the Z2420 signals a shift in emphasis for Intel's mobile ambitions from developed markets to emerging ones – where it has a chance to break into the volume, low-end market.

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