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October 7, 2011

Google rolls out Gmail for feature phones

Using a new feature, users can sign up to Gmail using almost any sort of phone, says company

By CBR Staff Writer

Search engine company Google has rolled out a feature that allows users in Africa without regular access to the Internet or a smartphone to access Gmail on feature phones.

Feature phones are popular in developing countries such as many in Africa. Feature phones are relatively inexpensive, low-end devices that are WiFi or Internet-enabled.

Google says that the number of people without access to the ‘normal’ Internet services that come with smartphones or a PC, to be in the "hundreds of millions."

Google product manager Dimitris Meretakis said that users will have to sign up to Gmail first.

Meretakis said, "It’s very easy for anyone to get a Gmail account. It’s free. All you have to do is go to a computer and sign up. You can even sign up from your Android phone. But what if you have no easy access to either a computer or an expensive smartphone? This is the case for hundreds of millions of people around the world."

"We wanted to make sure that users will be able to sign up using almost any sort of phone.

"We hope this will be useful for our users around Africa," added Meretakis.

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