The application, which has been on a pilot run, has enabled thousands of feature phone users to access reading material comfortably from their phone screen display.
“Our users spend 60,000 hours reading on their mobile phones per month. Approximately 100,000 of these readers read more than 20 times per month; they’re what we call ‘power readers’. In January, Worldreader Mobile users read the equivalent of 17,000 books on their feature phones,” the company reported.
Feature phones still dominate the market, especially in Africa. In February, bINU, a mobile app that transforms feature phones into smartphones, indicated there will be 990 million feature phones globally by 2016.
The African continent has the fastest growing mobile market in the world, with an annual growth rate of 44 per cent since 2000.
“There are more mobile phones than toothbrushes on this planet,” said David Risher, Worldreader co-founder and chief executive officer (CEO). “Together with our growing e-reader program, Worldreader Mobile connects us to millions of the world’s poorest people, providing the books they need to improve their lives.”
The Worldreader effect can especially be felt in Africa where feature phones truly dominate the market.
The application is being used in Tanzania, Ghana, Uganda, Kenya, Malawi, and Rwanda . These markets have already shown results with 440,000 e-books in English, Kiswahili, Kinyarwanda and Twi.
“In fact, in the first few months of 2013, Worldreader has already added e-reader programs at the Kibera Girls’ Soccer Academy in Nairobi, Kenya, and expanded work in Ghana to reach over 1,800 new young children and families in Ghana’s Eastern Region,” the company reported.