The Way-C is the first African tablet to rival the iPad. The name Way-C, which means “the light of the stars” in a northern Congolese dialect, was invented in Congo by 26-year-old Verone Mankou, under his company, VMK.
The Android tablet is a little smaller than the iPad, and weighs 380 g. It has a 1.2GHz processor, 512MB of RAM, 4GB of internal memory and supports wifi. Battery life is 6 hours.
The invention was made with dreams of bringing internet access to the masses.
For now, it is only available in the Republic of Congo at Airtel Congo stores, a mobile telephone company that is a subsidiary of Indian group Bharti.
It went on sale on Monday for $300 in Congo’s capital, Brazzaville, and in the oil port city of Pointe-Noire.
The plan is for the Way-C tablet to be marketed in 10 countries in West Africa, and in Belgium, France and India, starting Feb. 15.
While the Way-C was designed in Congo, it was assembled in China, to keep the price low and because of lack of factories in the central African country.
On the official Way-C website, Mankou describes the tablet as being affordable without being a cheaply made product, and filling a gap in the market for a device catering specifically to Africans.
According to Mankou, “Originally the idea was to design a low-cost computer to bring Internet access to as many people as possible.”