A telecommunications company is attempting to revolutionise the mobile market with a plan to make cellphones as ubiquitous as disposable cameras.
US-based Telespree has unveiled a mobile phone that has no keypad or display screen, but with the selling point that it is completely disposable and promises to be affordable for anyone.
The phone dials numbers through voice recognition and features nothing but an 'on' button and an emergency call button. The handset has a detachable battery, which also keeps track of the talktime remaining, so the colourful moulded-plastic handset can be retained if the user desires and 'refilled' with another disposable battery.
The first wave of models will only be able to make outgoing calls, but two-way versions are planned for the future, said the company.
Telespree chief executive, Alon Segal, said he eventually envisions the phones being available in vending machines and petrol stations as an "over-the-counter wireless product".
"While the perception is that wireless has reached the mass market, statistics point out that 60 per cent of individuals in the United States still don't own a wireless phone, with even larger unserved markets in much of the rest of the world," he said.
Rather than build functionality into the handset, all of the disposable phone's functionality resides in the carrier's network, which runs Telepsree's own thin client Intelligent Service Manager software.
But before the company can start signing deals with distributors such as supermarkets and petrol stations, its first obstacle is to convince carriers that its software works.
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