20 July 2008

Inside Nairobi, the Next Palo Alto?

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putting people first
by experientia

Nairobi
The New York Times reports on software development for mobile devices in emerging markets, through a nice feature on what is currently happening in that area in Kenya:

“While engineers in the United States lavish attention on expensive phones that boast laptoplike features, in Kenya there are 10 million low-end phones. Millions more are used elsewhere in Africa. Enhancements to such basic phones can be experimented with cheaply in Nairobi, and because designers are weaned on narrow bandwidth, they are comfortable writing compact programs suited to puny devices.”

“The prospect of marrying low-end mobile phones with the Internet is earning Nairobi notice from outsiders, who wonder whether the city might emerge as a test-bed for tomorrow’s technologies. One intriguing possibility is broadcasting local television programs on mobile phones.”

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