Low cost phones soar in China

With technology advances, more & more features are being incorporated in the mobile phone. And the existing features are being further refined e.g. increasing video and audio quality and PDA functions thrown in. While this entices the young generation, executives as well as techno geeks across various generations and the upward swinging classes, there still remains two main chunks of a country’s population waiting to be tapped - the rural or economically backward set and the other is the senior citizens club – and both exist in all countries.

China and India with the world’s largest and second largest populations of course provide the maximum growth potential. The difference is in the 2 categories. While the rural/economically backward class will opt for a no frill mobile as their first set of mobiles or as an entry point in climbing up the economic ladder, the senior citizens will opt for it for the sheer reason of convenience and ease to handle. A small mobile bundled with the latest technology for camera, PDA functions, audio etc. is not of much use to them especially if they have to pound the miniature keys – not an easy task with age taking its toll on their movements and eye-sight. What they need is a simple robust instrument able to do the basic functions and perhaps with a little bit of audio, camera and games thrown in – at an affordable cost – remember they have retired. And the size should be small enough to be held conveniently in their pockets or hung around their necks but not so small so as to make them lose it.

Both sets require low cost phones and this is where single chip solutions hold an edge. And as pointed out in the article, chipmakers lacking single chip solutions will face increasing pressure to compete with those that have them.

This makes for an observation here – why are the mobile companies not targeting the older generations especially in the developed countries like Japan and some European countries where the ratio of senior citizens to youth is quite high…..???

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