Google and Mara Corporation Limited (MC) announced Thursday plans to release the Mara X smartphone for the African market.
The Mara Corporation was founded by Ashish J Thakkar, a youthful Uganda-born businessman, who lived in Rwanda for years. Along with his family, they left before the 1994 genocide against Tutsi in Rwanda.
To be released in second quarter of 2018, the Mara X smartphone will be a one-of-a-kind high-quality, the group announced in a statement, at the World Mobile Congress in Spain.
The Mara X will be launched as part of Google’s Android One portfolio, getting a software experience designed by Google to be smart, secure and simply amazing. The Mara X comes with the latest innovations from Google. It will run the latest operating system, Android 8.0 Oreo; will get two years of OS upgrades; and the device has been optimized for the Google Assistant which is your own personal Google, ready to help throughout your day.
With unlimited high-quality photo storage from Google Photos and a carefully curated set of pre-installed apps, the Mara X makes sure African users have enough space for the apps they love. Regular security updates and Google Play Protect built in mean the Mara X is among the most secure devices available.
“Across Africa and in other emerging markets, we need smartphones that are both extremely affordable and high quality,” explained 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, the Brand Director, describes the Mara 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,” said Mara Corporation Founder, Ashish J Thakkar.
“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.”
The Mara Group owns the Atlas Mara banking group in Rwanda.