- People on Twitter ask whose ancestors would’ve passed immigrant ‘wealth test’ Monday 6:54 PM
- Kobe Bryant helicopter crash mocked in teen’s TikTok video Monday 6:38 PM
- Chiefs, Bears, Packers have Twitter accounts hacked Monday 3:48 PM
- Washington Post reporter suspended amid backlash over Kobe Bryant tweet Monday 3:08 PM
- America is united in hating Ken Starr’s impeachment hat Monday 3:01 PM
- In ‘Cuties,’ the contradictions of growing up come to a head Monday 1:55 PM
- Racist tweets blame fruit bat soup for coronavirus Monday 1:25 PM
- What is the #ILeftTheGOP movement? Monday 1:21 PM
- The Grammys were weird and sad—but the Billy Porter hat memes offered some levity Monday 12:36 PM
- Auschwitz Museum calls on Facebook to ban Holocaust denialism Monday 11:59 AM
- YouTuber who said his girlfriend was dead now says he faked it Monday 11:42 AM
- Review: Kentucky Route Zero is one of the most magical games ever made Monday 11:00 AM
- Backlash grows against Clearview as lawsuit looms Monday 10:58 AM
- Tyler the Creator calls out the Grammys for racism over ‘Rap Album’ win Monday 10:25 AM
- Democrats call on John Bolton to testify after book bombshell Monday 9:56 AM
The world’s cheapest smartphone will cost only $4
A new low-price smartphone for keeping rural Indian communities connected.
In the rural areas of India live an estimated 80 million people without access to mainstream media. Without that access, the area’s complaints about government neglect go unheard. To combat this, the Indian government launched the “Digital India” initiative last year in an effort to provide internet to even the most rural areas of the country. Its goal is to increase the country’s digital literacy.
But even before “Digital India” was agreed upon, non-governmental news organizations were coming up with clever ways to use today’s technology so that millions of people could tell their stories. One of these organizations, CGNet Swara, aggregated news stories using voicemail. An individual would call the CGNet Swara phone number and press “1” to record a message. A trained journalist would then review and verify the message, and once confirmed, make that message available for playback. If an individual wanted to hear these recorded news messages they would call the same number and press “2”.
With such a system in place, it’s equally important to have phones that are accessible to the rural population. Ringing Bells’ $4 (251 rupees) appropriately named Freedom 251 smartphone seems to fit the bill, especially with the company taking on a $2.20 loss for every device.
“We will have a loss, but I am happy that the dream of connecting rural and poor Indians as part of the ‘Digital India’ and ‘Make in India’ initiatives has been fulfilled with ‘Freedom 251’,” Goel said according to ZDNet.
The device will begin distribution on July 6 to the 200,000 customers who were picked through a lucky draw process. The company is allocating 10,000 units for each state, according to the Times of India.
It will be made out of inexpensive parts from Taiwan, and has expectedly low-end specs. The phone will feature a 4-inch 960×540 pixel IPS display, 1.3 Ghz quad-core processor, 1GB of RAM, 8GB storage, and a 3.2 MP rear-facing camera. The phone runs Android 5.1 Lollipop and comes with a few pre-installed Google apps.
Samsung currently dominates the Indian smartphone market share, but there is an incredible opportunity for others to take advantage of a country with a population over a billion, and only 22 percent of adults who reportedly own a smartphone.
More importantly, there is the opportunity to give tens of millions of citizens a voice by selling a product that has a chance of overcoming Trading Economic’s $4 estimated average daily wage of India.