Even before we officially launch the gender study, it is being used in Myanmar.
A recent report on gender and connectivity by GSMA and Sri Lanka based think tank LIRNEasia said that mobile phones have come to symbolise status in Myanmar.
“Despite the cost barrier, people are often not interested in keypad phones or less expensive smartphones, which are also perceived as low-quality,” said the report.
Mr Meza said that outside Myanmar’s cities, the phone would find its audience. “In Yangon people will go out of their way to get … the latest iPhone, Samsung, HTC [device], but the country has 680,000 square kilometres so life doesn’t end in Yangon.”
“There are a lot of pockets of the country where getting access to a $1000 … phone is simply [impossible], and that is where we see this opportunity to drive these devices,” he said. “It’s clearly a segmentation … This particular [phone] addresses the need of the middle and bottom of the pyramid.”