An $80 Android-powered device, called the Kenya phone comprises about half the smart phone market in Kenya, according to Hunsaker. The plan offered with it is prepaid, which removed the big barrier of cost for customers and clients in Kenya, particularly rural areas. There are over 300,000 Kenya phones in circulation and Hunsaker says the manufacturer of the Kenya phone is looking to launch in Nigeria soon. Although there is sparse or rare access to electricity, there is usually enough to power cell phones for needed amounts of time. This helps explain, to a large degree, why Internet via cable line is rare in rural east Africa. The use of mobile and wireless has helped Kenyan's so-called mobile wallet system of payments to become involved in 20% of Kenya's Gross Domestic Productivity (GDP), as 99% of Kenyans use the mobile wallet system according to Hunsaker.
Meanwhile, Google is continuing to reach out to underserved populations. Hunsaker points to Google's first Sub-Saharan Android Development Challenge (2011), in which 75 Teams from 12 Sub-Saharan countries participated. Games, social networking, and geolocation were as popular there as they tend to be in other parts of the world, but all apps were researched and developed by residents of the local technology and innovation hubs of their towns. Some of the most promising implementations of the apps being developed include uses for mobile healthcare workers.
Claire Hunsaker works at Samasource, a San Francisco-based social enterprise that connects people living in poverty with internet-based work through a proprietary platform. At Samasource, her hats have included leading product, strategy and field expansion, but these days she helps clients connect with Samasource data and content solutions as the head of Sales and Marketing. Her prior gigs have included LiveOps, social enterprise in rural Vietnam, and management consulting with Katzenbach Partners, where she led client teams at large technology companies and helped several non-profits with large-scale operational growth. Claire holds a BA from Columbia, an MA from the University of London, and an MBA from Stanford. In her spare time, she knits, plays with Drupal, and sets small fires in her kitchen.
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