Congolese inventor puts African tablet on sale

Jan 30, 2012
Tablet computers at an electronics show in Las Vegas this month. Africa has its first handheld tablet to rival the iPad and similar western inventions, which went on sale in the Republic of Congo on Monday, its inventor Verone Mankou said.

Africa has its first handheld tablet to rival the iPad and similar western inventions, which went on sale in the Republic of Congo on Monday, its inventor Verone Mankou said Monday.

"We have set up a team and logistics to sell the tablet since Friday. Today, anyone can buy one," if they are in the main cities of the capital Brazzaville and the oil port of Pointe-Noire, the 26-year-old told AFP.

The tablet is called the Way-C - "the light of the stars" in a dialect of northern Congo. It measures 19 x 17 x 1.2 centimetres (7.4 x 6.7 x O.5 inches) and weighs 380 grammes (13.4 ounces) and has integrated Wi-Fi circuitry and a 4.0 GB memory.

"In technological terms, this tablet is equivalent to all those to be found on the market," said Mankou, referring to the US giant Apple's and its competitors.

The Way-C was conceived in Congo, where it was first presented to the public in September 2011, but it is assembled in China, "for the simple reason that Congo has no factories and for price reasons," Mankou added.

His tablet will sell for 150,000 CFA francs (229 euros / 299 dollars), which the developer, who is also an advisor on new information technologies to the ministry of communication, considered "acceptable and relatively low, considering the technology used."

For the moment, the Way-C will be sold exclusively in Airtel Congo stores in Brazzaville and Pointe-Noire, a private mobile telephone company which is a subsidiary of the Indian group Bharti.

Mankou's firm, VMK, has cut a deal with Bharti. "With this company, we are also going to conclude a partnership to use 3G (), because the tablet only has an integrated wi-fi."

The financing of the project, launched in 2006, cost more than 80 million CFA francs (almost 122,000 euros), essentially provided by VMK. The tablet is planned to be marketed in 10 west , and in Belgium, France and India from February 15.

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Noumenon
2.1 / 5 (7) Jan 30, 2012
Why does it have to be an "African tablet", ...why can't it just be a "tablet". I think tablets should just assimilate into the market like other tablets and be proud to be who they are as individual tablets, rather than defining themselves as a separate group of victimized tablets expecting special treatment. If you're a good tablet, you're a good tablet,.. if I decide to buy another tablet, this does not make me victimize you,... as a tablet, of course.
KingDWS
3.7 / 5 (3) Jan 30, 2012
Unfortunately it really is just another Chinese built tablet. If the guy was even doing final assembly he would be helping his community and could call it a African or Congo tablet and I for one would applaud his efforts if nothing else. However like the majority of tablets it is just another Chinese made tablet with different go faster stripes as it real claim to fame.
Vendicar_Decarian
3 / 5 (2) Jan 30, 2012
Will American Conservatives demand that the Tablet display a birth certificate or origin before it will be permitted entry into the U.S.?

RonPaul1
1 / 5 (1) Jan 30, 2012
This tablet reminds me of the George Foreman grill. :-D LOL
Noumenon
2 / 5 (4) Jan 30, 2012
Will American Conservatives demand that the Tablet display a birth certificate or origin before it will be permitted entry into the U.S.?


Of course all countries require legal procedures to be met for tablets to enter, so why would conservatives differ?
TypicallyClueless
1 / 5 (2) Jan 31, 2012
Will American Conservatives demand that the Tablet display a birth certificate or origin before it will be permitted entry into the U.S.?



I would hope the US Constitution wouldn't offend anyone! We can always amend if it does.