Skip to Content
Uncategorized

The $20 Mobile Phone

This month in Technology Review, my boss Jason Pontin wrote his editorial about the $100 laptop, one of the many silver bullets technologists believe will bring the digital revolution to the poorest of regions. While it’s absolutely correct to develop…
July 11, 2005

This month in Technology Review, my boss Jason Pontin wrote his editorial about the $100 laptop, one of the many silver bullets technologists believe will bring the digital revolution to the poorest of regions.

While it’s absolutely correct to develop cheap technologies for people who can’t afford to be first movers, I wonder if the dream of the $100 laptop will be preceded by the $20 handset. At least that is the notion that crossed my mind after reading this Wired News piece.

From the article:

For instance, Philips Electronics recently announced that it has the electronics required to make a mobile phone that can be sold for less than $20. By 2008, the company hopes to be able to support handsets that cost less than $15.

These days, I use my Sprint Treo 600 (definitely not a $20 handset) for many of my daily activities (emailing, searching for directions, keeping my calendar, receiving news feeds from wires, etc.) – and those activities will only expand as hard drives allow for more uses. On top of that, wireless connectivity is likely going to do more for rural areas that cables ever will.

So, if you buy the fact that handsets will become more powerful and wireless networks will reach more people, I wonder if it’s not time to pour resources into reducing the cost of handhelds (and their services) to create a powerful $20 handset.

Deep Dive

Uncategorized

Uber Autonomous Vehicles parked in a lot
Uber Autonomous Vehicles parked in a lot

It will soon be easy for self-driving cars to hide in plain sight. We shouldn’t let them.

If they ever hit our roads for real, other drivers need to know exactly what they are.

stock art of market data
stock art of market data

Maximize business value with data-driven strategies

Every organization is now collecting data, but few are truly data driven. Here are five ways data can transform your business.

Cryptocurrency fuels new business opportunities

As adoption of digital assets accelerates, companies are investing in innovative products and services.

Mifiprex pill
Mifiprex pill

Where to get abortion pills and how to use them

New US restrictions could turn abortion into do-it-yourself medicine, but there might be legal risks.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose WongIllustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.