Vodafone's $15 phone for the developing world

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The mood in Barcelona must be somber, for the city’s team lost to Atletico Madrid yesterday. Granted, Atletico Madrid is Barcelona’s bogey team, but come on, Atletico Madrid?! Team CrunchGear could beat those guys on the pitch. Still, the Mobile World Congress soldiers on. Here’s something that caught my interest—something aside from Windows Phone!—is the Vodaphone 150. It’s for the developing world.

Vodafone will launch the phone in places such as India, Turkey (since when are India and Turkey developing countries?), and eight African countries, including Ghana and Kenya. It will launch at “well below” $15.

The idea behind the phone is that, as mobiles become increasingly important all over the world, it’s vital to get them into as many hands as possible. Hence, the phone’s inexpensive. You see, in places outside of the comforts of San Franciso and Williamsburg, where people use their phone to play Four Square and post silly videos to Twitter, mobile phones are used to access banking services, medical information (an afternoon SMS saying, “remember to take the blue pill at 5pm today”), and other such legitimate outlets.

Can you imagine a day without access to the Internet at this point? That’s sorta how mobile phones are in these places.

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