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Former Apple CEO to launch own Smartphone Brand in Kenya

Obi MobileJohn Sculley was selling ‘sugared water’ at PepsiCo (VP 1970–1977 and president of PepsiCo from 1977–1983) before Steve Jobs asked him to become CEO of Apple. Sculley held that position till 1993 and saw annual sales at Apple increase from $800 million to $8 billion.

You couldn’t think one day he would champion for anything Android, let alone buying into or owning an Android smartphone brand.

But decades later, Obi Mobiles, an Android smartphone brand backed by Sculley’s Toronto-based Investment and Acquisition Company, Inflexionpoint which marked its global launch in India and the Middle Eastlast year, is set to launch in Kenya this March targeting to capture the younger demographic.

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In a statement, John Sculley, co-founder and managing partner at Inflexionpoint, says: “Our vision is to use Obi’s success in each new market to create an international brand, especially targeted at the feature-rich and trendy smartphone segment.

“The African markets present a huge opportunity for new smartphone devices, with a growing population of technology- and fashion-savvy youth. Consumers today want the best feature-rich smartphone experience at desirable price points, without compromising on quality.”

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The firm says there is also a growing trend of feature phone users moving towards smartphones and Obi aims to meet that growing demand.

The Android Kit Kat platform, powered by multi-core processors, including an octa-core option, dual-SIM capabilities, large screen sizes and high quality camera options, all packaged in a robust and stylish exterior.

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Amit Rupchandani, Managing Director for the Middle East and Africa region at Obi Mobiles, adds: “While the mobile industry is often associated with highly expensive products sold using technical jargon, at Obi Mobiles the belief is that it doesn’t have to be this way. Obi is perfect for the growing number of mobile phone users in this region who desire the best smartphone experience without a huge financial investment.

“We are charting out our entry in to the East Africa market currently, and aim to rapidly grow in the region by forging synergies with effective channel partners. Obi will continue to expand extensively through 2015, with Latin America and the former CIS region up on the list of priority markets.”

The Obi smartphones for the African markets will be unveiled in March in Kenya, followed by a phased roll-out across other markets in the region. The only irony is we thought Sculley would do everything to see iOS take over the world and not Android!

Obi will compete luminaries Samsung, Techno, Lumia and the recently launched Infinix, Ole and Wiko mobile.

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Sam Wakoba
Sam Wakoba
Taking you on tour through Africa's tech and business ecosystem, one story at a time since 2010! Based out of Nairobi, Kenya, Sam is the founder and managing director of Moran Media, which runs, various other digital platforms and a startup incubation hub for Kenya's youthful entrepreneurs. Drop me a mail at [email protected]

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