Feeds

Orange outlines cheap Android roadmap

Boston frugal

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Following through on a promise made in April, Orange is leading the charge to put Android smartphones into the hands of budget users.

It plans a range of affordable devices, including its so-called 'Boston' device, which will cost only $2 upfront with a low end contract, and will be targeted at the carrier's growing presence in Africa. But it is starting its low end push in Europe, with its first handset in its 'A-brand' class, made by LG.

Other products will follow from Huawei, ZTE and Gigabyte, among others, all branded by the operator. "At the beginning of 2010 15% of our portfolio was smartphones. This will rise to 30% by the end of the year, and will be 50% by 2013," Patrick Remy, Orange's VP of devices, told TotalTelecom. This reflects how the smartphone - any handset with a full operating system open to developers and a browser - is becoming a mass market item.

Sponsor banner The LG device has not been described in detail but is likely to make its debut in France and other European territories in the summer, targeting prepaid users and low end contracts. Remy has also demonstrated the Boston, which is made by Gigabyte and will launch in June in Spain, Austria, Slovakia and Romania. It features a full browser, touchscreen, Wi-Fi, GPS and 5-megapixel camera. In Spain, it will be offered free with a €20-a-month contract that includes 100Mb of data.

Boston would be about €120 for prepaid users, about half the price of current low end smartphones such as HTC Tattoo or Huawei Pulse for T-Mobile. The carrier's aim is to get more people using multimedia services and, over time, push them to upgrade their data plans or purchase more premium content. Orange expects to extend the strategy to other operating systems, like Symbian and Windows, once low cost devices appear.

Vodafone has also been rolling out low cost smartphones under its own label, running Symbian, LiMO or Android.

Copyright © 2010, Wireless Watch

Wireless Watch is published by Rethink Research, a London-based IT publishing and consulting firm. This weekly newsletter delivers in-depth analysis and market research of mobile and wireless for business. Subscription details are here.

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Same old iPad? NO. The new 'soft SIMs' are BIG NEWS
AppleSIM 'ware to allow quick switch of carriers
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Brits: Google, can you scrape 60k pages from web, pleeease
Hey, c'mon Choc Factory, it's our 'right to be forgotten'
Of COURSE Stephen Elop's to blame for Nokia woes, says author
'Google did have some unique propositions for Nokia'
It's even GRIMMER up North after MEGA SKY BROADBAND OUTAGE
By 'eck! Eccles cake production thrown into jeopardy
Mobile coverage on trains really is pants
You thought it was just *insert your provider here*, but now we have numbers
Don't mess with Texas ('cos it's getting Google Fiber and you're not)
A bit late, but company says 1Gbps Austin network almost ready to compete with AT&T
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.