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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.

By contrast, in the UK, the number of mobiles beats the number of people, according to Ofcom, the regulator.

Vodafone, the world's largest mobile operator, recently said that it planned to invest $2 billion (£1 billion) in India this year.

The funds will be spent on infrastructure, retail outlets and advertising.

Virgin Mobile is expected to enter a partnership with Tata Teleservices in coming weeks.

India unveils 'people's phone' for £10 - Times Online
 

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BenzWorld Elitist
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Oh great. It's not bad enough that there will be a billion more people driving cars, now there will be another billion mistakenly calling my phone# and asking for Sunil or Lakshmi.
 

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BenzWorld Elitist
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WHICH reminds me.... Lakshmi Mittal's little place in Kensington Gardens... $128 million...

 

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BenzWorld Elitist
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He only has room for 20 cars in the garage there! Next door is the Sultan of Brunei... you know HE didn't skimp on the garage...

- Forbes.com
 
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