LBO reports of the release of a low-budget handset for the Sri Lankan market by Motorola, the MotoFone F3. Some of the features include two week stand-by time, high quality speaker, voice prompts, etc. Motorola even hopes to bring localised phones with Sinhalese script into the market soon. It hopes that the MotoFone F3, available for as little as LKR5,000 (approx. USD46) will boost its share in the local handset market with the new low cost handset.
This is good news for the bottom of the pyramid. The Shoestrings:2 findings indicate that at the bottomof the pyramid (BOP), 28% use second hand handsets, purchased for about USD40 on average, about half the price paid by those who are using brand new handsets. LBO also notes the large number of illegal second hand handsets being imported and sold, illegally, offereing a cheaper alternative. The new handset released by Motorola brings down the price differential bewteen brand new and second hand handsets considerably; for about USD6 more, low income earners can get a brand new handset with a warantee, which is also legal, many at the BOP may opt for the brand new one. As a result, the second-hand market is likely to shrink.