The age of $25 smartphones is upon us â€” and Mark Zuckerberg wants to give them a dial tone - Quartz
Sergey Zelvenskiy stashed this in technology
Itâ€™s day one of the Mobile World Congress, the big annual gathering of the mobile industry in Barcelona, and already the theme is clear: This is the year tech firms try to get the rest of the world online.
What does a $25 smartphone look like?
First, the basics: truly affordable smartphones. Mozilla, the makers of the popular Firefox browser and theÂ forthcoming Firefox operating systemÂ for phones, this morning announced that it worked with partners to create designs that could be used in smartphone that costsÂ as little as $25. Nokia released a touchscreen phoneÂ for â‚¬45Â ($61). Â A Chinese phone-maker was advertising a $35 Android phone.
Wow. We're on the cusp of connecting the entire world.
What the world ACTUALLY needs is cheap data plans.
But just because phones are cheap doesnâ€™t mean people are going to rush out to buy them. A smartphone is an expensive proposition: owning an iPhone costs about $2,000 over two years in the United States: $500 for the phone and $1,500 for data, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said on stage at the conference today. Cheaper phones donâ€™t necessarily come with cheaper data plans.
Mark Zuckerbergâ€™s answer to all this is to provide a â€śdial tone for the internetâ€ť:
â€śWhy should people spend one or two or three dollars to get basic data,â€ť he said at the Mobile World Congress, if they donâ€™t know whatâ€™s in store for them.Â People need a reason to get online and Zuckerbergâ€™s idea is to provide a suite of free â€śbasic servicesâ€ť such asÂ messaging, food prices, Wikipedia, weather and, it goes without saying, Facebook.
This is the next step in Zuckerbergâ€™sÂ plan for world domination, which involvesÂ getting everybody in the world onlineÂ and onto Facebook.Â He set up internet.org, a non-profit, to bring internet access to poor countries. And he introduced â€śFacebook zeroâ€ť a light version of its service that can be accessedÂ without incurring data chargesÂ with operators across the world.