Dumb Phone Demand

The Taipei Times reports today on a call for dumb phones by Asian Telecoms executives. Dumb phones are low cost basic models, which just offer voice and sms.

These phones would open up new markets of people who can’t afford the fully featured phones that are now basically standard:

“To realize this untapped potential, there is a need for us to put the emphasis on developing low-cost technology for Asian markets, not just networks but also handsets,” Lim [chief executive of SingTel Mobile] said, noting a “general reluctance” to make cheaper phones.

Sachet marketing (see here and here) is the new big thing. By repackaging/rethinking how you sell your products, you can leverage the huge volumes represented by the low income customers in developing countries.

Sachet marketing is a reference to Unilever’s pioneering work in India with Sunsil and Lux shampoo, where the product was sold in affordable sachets, rather than bottles.

So can we see a return to the old models of yesteryear?

Actually, I noticed quite a few kids are using clanky old Nokia’s these days. It’s a retro cool thing in their case. The one pcitured is curently on eBay of £10 as I write.

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