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Low battery: Launch of first ever Egypt-made smartphone thwarted by theft

Fifty-five percent of the handset is assembled in Egypt [SICO]

Date of publication: 19 December, 2017

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The launch of Egypt's first locally-made smartphone has been delayed after a large shipment of batteries was stolen, the firm producing the phone has announced.

The launch of Egypt's first locally-made smartphone has been delayed after a large shipment of batteries was stolen, the firm producing the phone has announced.

SICO, the Egyptian company behind the 4G enabled device, said on Sunday that 15,000 batteries went missing while on the way from its factory in the southern city of Assiut.

"Unfortunately the batteries left the port of Damietta and did not arrive at our factory," SICO CEO Mohamed Salem told local media.

"The launch of the phone will have to be delayed two or three weeks," Salem added.

The port's spokesman said on Monday that it could not be held responsible for the theft.

The company was planning to start selling the Nile X - the first Egyptian-made smartphone - in mid-December.

Fifty-five percent of the handset is assembled in its factory and the rest is manufactured in China.

The Nile X will retail for about $112, however, SICO plans on releasing a budget model for as little as $11.

The handset was unveiled earlier this month to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, whose government has invested $22.4 million into the project.

Egyptians have expressed their doubts over the locally made product on social media, with many sceptical of the company's chance of succeeding.

Mobile phones subscription in Egypt was 110 percent at the start of this year, with 98.2 million users, however, only 32 percent of people have smartphones.

SICO hopes to capitalise with its affordable product and eventually expand to African and Middles Eastern countries.

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