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Vodafone launches $15 phone

MWC: Qatar to be one of first markets to get new low cost handset

Vodafone launches $15 phone
The Vodafone 150 will have an unsubsidized price of $15
Vodafone launches $15 phone
The handset includes support for voice, SMS and mobile payments
Vodafone launches $15 phone
The handset include a torch and several basic applications

Vodafone has announced the launch of two new low cost handsets for emerging markets, with models priced at $15 and $20.

The Vodafone 150 and Vodafone 250 will launch first in ten countries, including Qatar, Turkey, India, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Mozambique, South Africa and Tanzania.

Both handsets will support voice and SMS, along with mobile banking, and Vodafone says it will support the launches with extensive logistics infrastructure to help them reach rural customers.

The models come with GSM 900/1800 compatibility, polyphonic ringtones, vibration, alarm clock, calculator, currency converter, two embedded games, and 100 entry memory for phone numbers and SMS, and torch; with a battery life of 400 hours standby and five hours talk time.

The Vodafone 150 has a 1" monochrome screen, while the 250 includes 1.45" CSTN display and a built in FM radio.

Vodafone says it worked with manufacturer TCL to significantly reduce manufacturing costs, allowing it to set an unsubsidized price of $15 for the 150 and $20 for the 250.

Patrick Chomet, Vodafone's group director of terminals, said: "The cost of mobile handsets can be one of the most significant barriers for people in accessing and benefiting from the growing number of socially valuable mobile services. The lives of people who use these phones - the Vodafone 150 and Vodafone 250 - will be changed and improved as they become part of the mobile society. I am proud of the work we have done and will continue to do in this critical area of customer empowerment."

No date for the Qatar launch was available at time of publishing.

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