India Rolls Out $20 Cell Phone

The bare-bones 'people's phone' aimed at the half of Indians who have no mobile
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Feb 14, 2008 1:27 PM CST
Indian film actress Priyanka chopra (C) Kunal Ahuja CEO Spice Mobile Limited (R) and and Dilip Modi vice chairman during a launch of the Spice dual mode phone in New Delhi, 01 August 2007. Spice's new...   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – On the heels of India’s $2,400 car comes its $20 mobile handset, the “people’s phone,” the Times of London reports. It has no smart features—not even a screen. “It is just a phone,” says the chairman of Spice Mobile, the phone’s developer, but the company thinks it can sell 10 million over the next year.

The phone will hit Asian markets next month, including India, where well over half the population does not own a cell phone, and the number that do is expected to double over the next three years, to 500 million. This vast market has inspired interest from other telecoms, including Nokia and Motorola. And Spice anticipates even further price drops, with a $10 model in the works.