Meet Nigeria’s first Tablet PC designer

Saheed Adepoju

Inye, by Encipher, is Nigeria’s first Tablet PC. It was designed in 2009 by Saheed Adepoju who developed an andriod software but could not find a suitable device to test it.

Saheed Adepoju talks Bible like a pastor. He’s not. He is a technology genius, the designer of Nigeria’s first Tablet PC.

He is a Co-founder and CEO at Encipher Limited, along with Anibe Agamah.

Saheed made the first Nigerian tablet out of a need to solve a personal technology problem. That was in 2009.

He had developed an android software, and wanted to pre-install and test its functionally on compatible hardware, but no tablet in the market met his specifications.

Eventually, he sourced hardware components from China. This chain of event birthed a new consumer product, the Inye Tablet.  Encipher found a manufacturer in China to handle the production process of the tablet.

While the Inye Tablet has the basic components found in peers, the distinguishing factor is the brand.

“We have developed the Igbo, Yoruba and Hausa keyboard for this brand,” Saheed, a 2005 graduate of the Federal University of Technology, Minna, said.

He sold a ‘couple of hundreds’ of the first Generation Inye.  Inye II is out but can only be  pre- ordered.

Saheed says Encipher is very concerned of the value the Inye brand adds to customer satisfaction rather than on the price of the product. The tablet is also relatively affordable by students and business people.

With a business plan that would produce favorable results, Saheed is optimistic that Inye will be the National tablet for Nigeria. With regards to other tablet developers, he sees Encipher as the company that reaches the consumers, because these companies cannot cover the entire market space.

When asked how Nigerian government policies affect Encipher’s business, he said writing policies is one thing, while executing is another.

“But I will not be limited by policies,” he said.

He thinks Nigeria has some favourable policies that help the industry.

For Saheed, everyday is a learning process. A background in computing helps him understand the technicalities of tablet development, but he had to learn the business aspect. Like the supply chain, the consumer needs and a lot more.

As he terms it, “The ABC of making money is not necessarily about brick and mortar, an office and staff, it is about the net.”

“In the next two years, the number of people pulling information from the web will tremendously increase. This is where the business world is constantly evolving and the direction business owners should follow,” he said.

The Inye tablet is designed for GSM service, and provides the consumer with means of surfing the web, robust multimedia functions, resistive touch screen, Wi fi connectivity and other basic functionalities of a modern day tablet. The tablet also serves as hardware in which software developers can place their apps for tablet users. In addition Encipher builds locally included products, which include the local language Keyboards.

While giving hope to greenhorns in the industry, Saheed says building a tablet is not really rocket science as the design, methodology and building blocks are basically the same, with all tablets.


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