Faced with competition from giants as such
ipad, Inye, a low-cost tablet computer
developed by a Nigerian, has a long way to go,
reports the BBC
Saheed Adepoju is a young man with big
dreams. He is the inventor of the Inye, a tablet
computer designed for the African market.
According to the 29-year-old entrepreneur, his
machine’s key selling point is its price - $350
(£225) opposed to around $700 for an iPad.
He believes that, because of this, there is a big
market for it in Nigeria and elsewhere in Africa,
particularly amongst students.
He is also hoping to sell his tablet - which runs
on the Google Android operating system - to
the Nigerian government and plans to have at
least one computer in each local government
The Inye is a mobile internet device. It gives you
access to the internet; it allows you to play
media files and watch movies”
“The Inye is a mobile internet device. It gives
you access to the internet; it allows you to play
media files and watch movies. What we have is
an 8-inch device, a device that is half-way
between a laptop and a mobile phone,” he told
the BBC’s series African Dream.
“You have the standard software applications
that come pre-installed and then you have the
ones that we are working with various local
developers to bundle on,” he added.
Among those local apps there is one designed
to raise awareness about HIV and others related
to water and sanitation.
“We work with local developers that have
expertise in particular areas so that we don’t
end up doing so much work and we just have a
collaborative way of doing things together,” he
‘Word of mouth’
Mr Adepoju has a background in software
development and is a Sun-certified Java
After doing a first degree in maths and computer
science in Nigeria, he completed another one in
advanced computing by research at
Bournemouth University, in the United
Upon graduation in 2009, he returned to his
home country and started working for a
“Within eight months I got fired, primarily
because of differences in approach to doing
business. In the middle of all this, the Apple
iPad launched, back in January of 2010, which
inspired us to actually look to build such [a]
product within the African marketplace,” the
entrepreneur told the BBC Africa’s Chris Ewokor.
He said that, with that goal in mind, he
borrowed money from friends and family,
raising a total of about $60,000.
According to him, all of that went on the devices
and the logistics - there was no budget for
marketing, so early advertising was “word of
mouth” on social media.
The first 100 units of the Inye, which means One
in Nigeria’s Igala language, were built in China
and, after receiving feedback from its users, a
second version was launched in May 2011.
Encipher Group, the company he cofounded
with web developer Anibe Agamah, also offers
customised IT services and products, including
cloud computing, which are mostly based on
open technology to keep costs down