Twenty years ago, mobile phones were as humungous as a brick. You could literally injure someone if you hit him / her with that device. They were also very expensive. In places like India, calling from one city to another would sometimes cost more than Rs 20-25 / minute. But today mobile phones seem to be cheaper than a cup of coffee.
But then, where do you find mobile phone at throwaway prices? Any guesses? China? India? NO!
Carphone Warehouse has recently launched the cheapest mobile phone – Alcatel OT – 209 at 99 cents. Current 1 Pound = 67 INR and if you wondering how can a phone be that cheap you are right. It works only if you buy a £10 calling card from Virgin (There is always something, aint’t it!). This deal is slightly more expensive than their last years offer with a £9.5 top up from Orange.
So what does it offer for 99 cents?
At 65g, it is much lighter than the oldest Nokia brick phone, the ones we used in the 90s. It has the basic features of texting and calling. It also has large separated buttons and a clear display for people who like using basic phones and are satisfied with using uncomplicated phones.
Some of the other features include talk-time at 5 hours, charging time of 2 hours, FM radio, a few games and 400 hours of standby power. Oh btw, it also has a fake incoming call function, which would help many
So what’s so interesting about this?
The most interesting aspect of the entire discussion is the fact that whether this is designed / manufactured in India or China, it is being launched in UK. This shows that in today’s times of economic turmoil, the market for such products is still there in UK. And we always thought that the west doesn’t care about such devices.
Hit / Flop?
The social web generation will continue to buy smartphones of all prices and sizes. But the fact that Carphone Warehouse has come out with such an offer again shows that this phone has a market.
But the biggest problem in my view is the fact that it’s a phone from Alcatel which in itself isn’t too popular in the cell phone segment.