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« Chart of the day: US farm income to be highest in 4 decades | Main | Nice NYT piece on dangers of inequality inside China »
12:27PM

Get yourself some Chinese (part II) and conquer the BOTP

 

Missed yesterday on 20-hour workday that featured 4 flights - sweet!  Just to go to fricking Norfolk from Indy. Such is the cost of being able to sleep in your own bed both nights (I have had all the hotels in this world that I care to). Unbelievable logistics that left my head aching from all the up-and-down.  I am going to build a future that has minimal flying and maximum time on the waves.  Count on it.

MS and Huawei do a GM-SAIC (my fave example of getting yourself some Chinese to capture the fortune at the bottom of the pyramid).

Gist:

Microsoft, taking aim at the world’s fastest-growing smartphone market, said on Monday that it would team up with Huawei of China to sell a low-cost Windows smartphone in Africa.

The phone, called the Huawei 4Afrika Windows Phone, will cost $150 and initially be sold in seven countries.

Slick connection, yes?

Africa is the world’s fastest-growing region for smartphones, with an average sales growth of 43 percent a year since 2000, according to the GSM Association, an industry trade group based in London.

In sub-Saharan Africa alone, 10 percent of the 445 million cellphone users have smartphones, but that is expected to increase rapidly as operators expand high-speed networks.

By 2017, most consumers in South Africa will be using smartphones, up from 20 percent last year, according to the GSM Association. In Nigeria, the continent’s most populous country, the outlook for sustained growth is even greater, with smartphone penetration projected to reach just 30 percent by 2017.

The World Bank says that roughly a quarter of the one billion people on the continent are middle-class wage earners, the target group that Microsoft will try to reach with the Huawei phone, Mr. de Sousa said.

“Africans are generally quite conscious of brand, quality and image,” he said.

Some serious bottom-of-the-pyramid stuff.

Think about it:  MS and Wal-Mart making these big moves in Africa.

Biggest analytic mistake I've ever made was overestimating how slowly (yes, my original post had me mis-stating this) Africa would embrace globalization and succeed with it.  Totally blew it.

And that mistake taught me:  the bias of the national security type toward pessimism is a huge analytic weakness WRT globalization.   It really means Washington, by and large, doesn't have a clue - PNT worst of all.

And that's a weird realization, when you remember that this era of globalization is a US-led creation, but now, here we are, and the progenitor and long-time bodyguard has lost its analytic ability to understand its own creation.

References (1)

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Reader Comments (2)

Did you mean "underestimating" how fast Africa will embrace globalisation?

A few things:

1. GE announced $ 1 billion investment in Nigeria: http://www.businessdayonline.com/NG/index.php/markets/companies-and-market/51627-ge-1bn-investment-in-cross-river-sign-of-confidence-in-nigeria-maku

2. Chinese trade with Africa is worth about $200 billion and is growing rapidly. The question is not if, but when the Chinese start getting involved in ALL aspects of Africa (economic, security, politics).

3. The US DOES NOT have an Africa strategy. Let us put it stark terms. The AFRICOM / NGO circus is not the way to deal with globalization's great unknown. US needs to go back to the drawing board and rethink assumptions.

4. I agree with you, business folks see the future a lot more clearly than State Dept/Pentagon types.

February 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMaduka

Tom, as the previous commenter seemed to have inferred, was this a typo of sorts? [Tom: yes it was, I got my over/under confused and I meant to say "overestimating how slowly ...]

"Biggest analytic mistake I've ever made was overestimating how fast Africa would embrace globalization and succeed with it."

If your point is that risk-colored glasses tend to skew one towards pessimism, then wouldn't you have erred on the side of underestimating Africa's globalization-based rise?

March 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAndy Bochman

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