Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Feature Free Disposable Cellphone

A cheap disposable cellphone that just makes phone calls. That's it!
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(+1, -4)
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What happened to the days when a phone made phone calls, and did nothing else? What I propose is a really simple cheap phone. It would cost maybe $10 to $20 and include about an hour of talk time. No screen, no games, no calendar, no music, just phone calls. Kind of like the phone you grew up with, only it can go in your pocket. The body might be card or plastic. The back of the phone would have some lines for you to write down any important phone numbers.

The main selling place would be vending machines in airports or other transportation hubs. When you travel to new cities, you really need to have a phone. It would probably be really useful for drug dealers too.

One sticky part might be the batteries. If the phone is outgoing calls only, the battery life could be equal to the prepaid talk time because it only transmits when you make a call. That means a smaller longer lasting battery.

But if the phone is in constant contact with a network in order to receive calls, it would need a bigger battery. You don't want to be selling chargers as well, so there could be a refundable deposit to encourage people to return the batteries when they finish with the phone. Also, if you think you will need this phone for more than a few days, you can buy extra batteries from the vending machine (and get your money back when you return them).

DanDaMan, Jan 11 2008

Similar Mobile_20phone_20th..._20phone_20calls_2e
[angel, Jan 11 2008]

Disposable Cell Phone http://www.braddye....ters/n4apr2003.html
[hippo, Jan 11 2008]


       I'd be interested in knowing what the scrap value of a low-spec phone is and comparing it to the cost of manufacture of such a device.   

       Anyone know how much a GSM chipset is these days?
Jinbish, Jan 11 2008

       Perhaps the phones could come from the glut of second hand phones. My current phone is a tri-band one with bluetooth and that cost £10 ($20). I imagine they would cost less in bulk.
Srimech, Jan 11 2008

       With rising concerns about "e-waste" I'm not sure I can support disposable electronics that do the same job as exising long-lived electronics. My cell phone is going on five years now. It's high-tech features include an internal list of phone numbers so I don't have to look up a number, dial, and redial each time I screw up. It also contains a clock, and a stupid video game.
ye_river_xiv, Jan 11 2008

erlehmann, Jan 11 2008

       Phone handsets are not cheap, they are massively subsidised both by the companies running the call contracts, and in some places, governments wishing to encourage investment in their telecoms infrastructure.
zen_tom, Jan 11 2008

       //Motorola simply can't make usable products// Thank you. So I'm not the only one with a phone peices that resemble everyone else's cell phone?! I call the older motorola phones Lego phones because you have to put all the plastic parts back together to use it.
evilpenguin, Jan 11 2008

       I took a punt on Motorola's shittest phone, the bit that annoyed me (and more likely than not my coworkers) most was the default thing it had of using voice feedback to inform you, and anyone else in the vicinity, what menu item you were looking at.
zen_tom, Jan 11 2008


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