30-Year-Old Nigerian Tech Entrepreneur May Run Apple Out of Business In Africa
Reported by Yhanick Scott
A 30-year-old Nigerian phone entrepreneur by the name of Michael Akindele has been making great strides in the mobile device market — so much so, that he has been challenging tech giants such as Apple. The company, SOLO Phone, was started in 2012, and Akindele serves as director and co-founder. The company is aimed at delivering mobile solutions, services, and platforms to consumers all at a reasonable price.
The company’s smartphones are priced at $150 and come with up to 20 million free songs licensed by Sony, Universal, and Warner. Its latest release is an app named Video-On-Demand, available to all Nigerians with an Android device and makes available Nollywood and Hollywood movies. SOLO Phone is making strides in the market and can definitely challenge other giants within the market, believes Akindele.
Akindele was born in the United States to Nigerian parents on Aug. 29, 1984. He returned to Nigeria at two-years-old but returned to the states ten years later. He was educated at Alexandria, Virginia and graduated from T.C. Williams High School, and then moved on to George Mason University in Fairfax. While at George Mason, he earned a Bachelor of Science degree with a focus on computer science and information technology. This gave him the ideal background, knowledge, and platform to building his company.
His work as a technology consultant at Accenture also helped him to gain first-hand knowledge in his field. This is where he started working on “The Apprentice: Africa,” which was the American version of Donald Trump’s “The Apprentice.” He returned to Africa in 2007 to help produce, develop, and distribute the show, which gained a huge following in Nigeria, Uganda, Ghana and Kenya during the 18 weeks it was aired on the continent.
Before SOLO Phone, he had a company called Fusion Mobile, but it did not last very long because of a lack of funding and persons not believing in an African manufacturing phone company. Adlevo Capita, however, changed all that in 2013 when they partnered with Akindele. This led to the birth of SOLO.
Tayo Ogundipe is a telecom specialist who led the push to develop the company and has experience working with companies such as Sony Ericsson and HTC. His experience led to the realization of SOLO on Nov. 22, 2013. Since then, the reception from the public has been tremendous, as they seek to provide experience-driven and strong digital content to both the young and the old. What has been keeping consumers interested and has set SOLO apart from others in the market is the high content and services it provides at such an affordable price.