This post from one of my favorite blogs, AfriGadget, highlights interesting ways that Africans are modifying cell phones for their unique technological needs. It is based on the author’s (Erik Hersman) conversation with Jan Chipchase, a design and usability ethnographer for Nokia, who travels around the world to explore how mobile phones are used worldwide and then reports his findings back to Nokia’s design team. He explains:
While exploring in Africa [Jan] found a booming market of hackers and mobile phone mechanics who are doing all kinds of interesting things such as creating new mobile phones from old phone parts. Another interesting innovation is the development of a dual SIM card hack so that users can access multiple carriers.