On Monday, software giant Microsoft said that it is partnering with Huawei of China to sell a low-cost Windows-based handset - dubbed the Huawei 4Afrika Windows Phone - in the African markets.
The announcement - which underscores that Microsoft is targeting the rapidly growing smartphone market with its new Windows Phone 8 OS - revealed that the Huawei 4Afrika handset will initially be available in seven African countries; and will priced at $150.
Going by the details shared by Microsoft in the announcement, the low-cost Huawei 4Afrika smartphone - which will be "pre-loaded with custom apps written by Africans for Africa" - will be the first device in Huawei's "4Afrika" series of smartphones.
The handset will be introduced on Tuesday at different events in Cairo, Johannesburg, Lagos, Nairobi, and Abidjan, Ivory Coast. The phone will also be sold in Angola and Morocco.
By teaming up with Huawei of China to sell the Huawei 4Afrika in Africa, Microsoft is apparently looking to build on the momentum which its Windows Phone software has recently gained via its partnership with Nokia.
Noting that, with a barely 2 percent worldwide smartphone OS market share, Windows Phone OS is a "small player in smartphones," Pete Cunningham - an analyst with UK research firm Canalys - said that Microsoft "needs as many partners as it can get; and Africa is one of Huawei's strongest markets outside of China."