Solo, Inc. manufactures agricultural and lawn garden equipment for tilling, spraying, pumping, and sawing applications. It offers chemical applicators, including backpack sprayers and parts, handheld and industrial sprayers, motorized mist blowers and parts, motorized backpack sprayer and parts, backpack battery sprayers and parts, spreaders, and sprayer accessories; and accessories for non-solo sprayers. The company also provides air blowers, and parts and accessories; chain saws, including bars and chains, chain saw accessories, and chain saw parts; hedge trimmers and parts; trimmers and brushcutters, including trimmer parts and accessories; and lubricant-engine oils, cut-off saws and part...
5100 Chestnut Avenue
Newport News, VA 23605
Founded in 1948
Solo Launches in Nigeria and Turns the Business Model on its Head
Nov 29 13
Another made in China African handset launch would be deeply uninteresting. But the unveiling of Solo's new handset bundled with data and content in Nigeria somehow turns the business model on its head. If want people to use data, then you've you've got to offer them things they want. Russell Southwood talks to Solo's Michael Akindele about how it wants to re-invent the market. There are two handsets and each come with its own distinctive content bundle. The cheaper of the two devices is the S350, an Android Jelly Bean 4.1 smartphone with a 3.5" screen and dual SIM capabilities. It comes with a music service that offers the user access to 20 million songs for the life of the device. It sells for NGN 18,500, the equivalent of USD 115. This music service has been put together by a music partner who has rights cleared access to the catalogues of the majors like Sony, Universal and Warner. But is will also include music from local Nigerian labels, South African music and African music from elsewhere on the continent. Given the levels of piracy on the continent, the rights holder have been content to accept a licence fee per device on the basis that they get some money rather than nothing. If the targeted sales figures mentioned later come to pass, this could well be a significant sum. The more expensive of the two phones is the S450, and Android Jelly Bean 4.2 smartphone with a 4.5" screen and dual SIM capabilities with greater memory than the cheaper model. It will retail for NGN 29,500, the equivalent of USD 183. It comes with the same music service as the cheaper model but its users have access to a premium film and TV service. The video content will have multiple price points ranging from 50 cents to USD 10: the more premium, the higher the cost. On payment, it will offer multiple payment "from SMS to cards and including own parallel monetization platform, the Solo Card, a mobile wallet solution. In terms of operators, Solo started with Nigeria's data friendly operator Etisalat who agreed they would give free bundled data of 100 Mbs per month. Two weeks before the launch Airtel came on board and topped that offer by offering 500 MBs. MTN is now in discussion and may join before too long. It has compressed the music stream from 384 kbps to 64 kbps so those who are listening to music get a certain amount completely free. But it's clear that the operators are baiting the offer to try and hook users in to regular use that they pay for.