Thursday, February 14, 2008

Talk Is Cheap -- For Everyone on the Planet

How long before Blackberries and iPhones reach the hands of those billions of people about to get their starter phones? These cheap phones are a leading indicator of growing global prosperity. Their distribution and use will form patterns on maps of the world that will show who's racing into the modern world at the greatest speed.

India unveils 'people's phone' for £10

India has already built the world's cheapest car — the £1,200 Tata Nano — now the country has delivered the telecoms equivalent: the £10 "people's phone".

The mobile handset, developed by Spice, an Indian conglomerate listed in Bombay and worth £1 billion, is angled at the lowest end of the market.

This means that it has jettisoned all "non-essential" features — such as a screen.

"It is just a phone," Bhupendra Kumar Modi, the Spice chairman, who hopes to sell about ten million in the next year, confirmed.

Mobile phones priced at less than £20 account for about a fifth of the global market.

However, with half the world's population yet to make a phone call and developing markets becoming saturated, manufacturers see massive potential in budget phones.

Spice will begin selling its people's phone in Asian markets from next month. It suggests that prices can be stripped down further and that a £5 model is not far away.

India, the world's fastest-growing mobile market, where mobile subscribers are expected to more than double in the next three years, to 500 million, is a prime target for a budget player.

While Western markets are largely saturated, It is estimated that more than 870 million of India's 1.1 billion population are yet to own a mobile.


Post a Comment

<< Home