Home business Onyx-Connect, first African company to manufacture smartphones and will cost only $30

Onyx-Connect, first African company to manufacture smartphones and will cost only $30

ZTE smartphones Grand Memo Lite (L) and Grand S are displayed during a news conference in Taipei in this October 12, 2013 file photo. REUTERS/Pichi Chuang/Files

South African smartphone manufacturer Onyx-Connect, a privately backed company, will be launching a $30 Android smartphone into the African market. The company moved its full production into South Africa, reducing the cost to manufacture the device.

Onyx-Connect plans plans to begin full production of its African made smartphone in April 2017. Creating roughly 600 jobs.

Onyx-Connect is licensed to load Google software(Android and Chrome) onto devices sold under its own brand.

It will initially focus on the production of white label devices for operators in South Africa, with the launch of an Onyx branded line to follow later in the year.

Andre Van Der Merwe, sales director at Onyx-Connect said;

“Although people may want the latest flash smartphone the reality is, not everyone can afford one,” he said. “We’re going to give people their first 3G phone for under $30 and then when they move onto higher specification handsets we hope they will stick with us.”


While there are a few African companies (Sekoko Mobile, Zest Mobile and Mint Mobile) that assemble smartphones in Africa, they do it by importing smartphone assembling kits from other countries.

Onyx-Connect will be able to compete because they will actually manufacture the devices themselves, saving shipping costs and government incentives.

The only parts the will not be sourced in Africa are the circuit boards and the raw components. The cases, which will be made from plastic and everything else will be produced locally. Onyx has its own research and development capability.