“With the mi-Tribe A500, we have launched a mobile device that offers convenience, style and affordability, made exclusively for the people of Nigeria, as a way of giving them quality, backed up by superior after sales support.” said Alpesh Patel, CEO and founder of the mi-Fone during the announcement of its partnership with Nigeria’s leading online mall, Konga to launch the Mi-Tribe A500 in Nigeria.
Truth be told, the Mi-Tribe A500 was a success. With thousands of units sold both online (particularly on Konga) and offline in local mobile retail stores and a chunk of positive reviews and feedbacks, one would think that Mi-Fone as a mobile brand has come to stay. Little did we know that we would not be hearing from the OEM in a really long time.
The Mi-Tribe A500 was announced and launched in Nigeria February 2016 but didn’t start selling until March 2016. Nigerians rushed to purchase the device because it had pretty decent specs and was affordable – the Mi-Tribe A500 sold around N23,000 when it launched. Couple of months later, the price nose-dived to about N20,350 on Konga and the sales volume of the device almost doubled.
This could be attributed in part to the then economic recession the country was facing which saw prices of most gadgets snowball. So, given the specs and price of the Mi-Tribe A500 that period, it was a steal.
July 2016, the Mi-Tribe A500S was launched. The A500S was an upgrade of the earlier released A500. However, only the camera quality and processor cores were upgraded. The primary camera was upgraded from 8 MP to 13 MP while the secondary camera was upgraded to 5 MP from the low-end 2 MP found on the A500.
With the release of the A500S, its second smartphone, five months after the launch of the first, mi-Fone seemed like a company that had the Nigeria market at heart. Apparently, our perception of the company was faulty.
It has been way more than 12 months now and not only have we not seen any new device from the company, the company in itself have failed to release any teasers, updates, or statements as regards its continued silence.
Leaves us wondering: Has mi-Fone abandoned the Nigerian market? Was the Mi-Tribe A500 the only device the company planned for the Nigeria people? Will there be any other device from the company asides the A500 and A500S to the Nigerian people?
So many questions begging for answers.
The Mi-Tribe A500 is a 5.0 inch smartphone with 2GB of RAM, 720 x 1280 pixels display resolution, Android 5.0 Lollipop OS, 8 MP rear camera, 2 MP front facing camera, Quad-core processor, 16GB built-in storage and 2,300 mAh battery.