The New York Times carries this fascinating story about Hike, a new app that is being driven by Sunil Mittal’s son. Those who consider every smartphone app as a mortal threat to the telecom business should read this.
In a first for messaging apps, Hike allows its users to send free text messages to people who use “feature phones” —low-end devices that lack a smartphone’s ability to download apps — and to people who usually keep their phones’ Internet connection turned off to save money. It allows chats within groups of up to 100 people, and transfer of large files, a useful ability for students exchanging homework files.
India is the third-largest smartphone market by sales, after China and the United States, and since the end of last year it has been the fastest growing. Mr. Mittal calls it the “last frontier” for smartphone makers, as large numbers of feature phone users make the transition to more capable devices.