Ultra-low cost mobile phones a hit, group says

Sales of a pair of ultra-low cost Motorola mobile phones aimed at poor nations have far exceeded expectations.

Sales of a pair of ultra-low cost mobile phones aimed at poor nations have exceeded expectations since their launch at the beginning of the year, prompting the GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) Association (GSMA) to extend the program that led to their creation.

Mobile phone operators in emerging market nations such as Bangladesh, China, India and Russia have already bought or ordered more than 12 million mobile phones under the Emerging Market Handset program, the GSMA said in a statement Monday.

The handsets are aimed at the roughly 1 billion people in developing countries around the world who lack the money to purchase conventional mobile phones. GSMA launched the Emerging Market Handset program to entice companies to create a sub-US$30 handset, despite the low margins they would likely gain from sales. As part of the competition, a group of 10 operators in developing countries had agreed to buy 6 million of the winning mobile phone model.

Motorola won the competition with two handsets, the C113 and C113a, which went on sale at the beginning of this year.

"This program is a great success. Together with the GSMA and our mobile operator partners, we are enabling over 31,000 new consumers to experience mobile connectivity every single day," said Ron Garriques, president of Motorola Mobile Devices, in a statement.

Strong demand for the handsets prompted the GSMA to extend its endorsement of Motorola as the Emerging Market handset vendor for an additional six months, representing the entire second half of this year.

The GSMA has also established a program to share access to mobile phones for the many people who can't afford even an ultra-low cost one such as the Motorola designs. The GSMA's Development Fund is aimed at projects increase the use of shared access handsets in the developing world.

For example, the South African company Sharedphone uses the ultra-low cost Motorola handsets as a mobile payphone to offer people a chance to make a call or send a text message, GSMA said.

Motorola and the mobile phone operators participating in the program are contributing US$0.50 to the Development Fund for every handset sold under the Emerging Market Handset program. The GSMA's goal is to give 80 percent of the world's population access to mobile communications by 2010 even if they don't all own a handset, the association said.

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Dan Nystedt

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill


I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?