Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Communications Handhelds Hardware

Cell Phone On A Chip 256

Posted by michael
from the beam-me-up dept.
sebFlyte writes "Texas Instruments have developed a new chip for mobiles that, according to some, should make is possible to make a cell phone for less than $25, bringing it into the realm of possibilities for low-level corporate giveaways, or a reasonable loss leader for getting people started on pay-as-you go mobile offerings."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Cell Phone On A Chip

Comments Filter:
  • by sanityspeech (823537) on Tuesday January 25, 2005 @02:24PM (#11470906) Journal
    From the article:

    Mobile phones contain a number of potentially dangerous substances, such as arsenic, cadmium, ZINC and lead, which can harm the environmental if the handset is not disposed of in a responsible manner.

    Oh really? So, why in the world is there this incredible push to make lead-free devices [pb-free.info], when it appears that the zinc alloys [nikon.co.jp] seem to be the most-likely substitute for lead?

    I'm fairly green [panda.org] myself. The question I have is, why adopt whack-a-mole policies that are likely to replace current problems with other problems?
    • actually, zinc is quite a tame substance, unlike the other three. I've also read that zinc could be hazardous in the water, soil, etc, but those same papers I read recommend tossing zinc batteries in the garbage. As a matter of fact, many medical scientists suspect that zinc can actually boost your immune system when you're fighting a cold.

      so yeah, I don't know why the authors of this article are up-in-arms about zinc; it's immensely preferable to lead.

    • by WhiplashII (542766) on Tuesday January 25, 2005 @02:36PM (#11471056) Homepage Journal
      Yeah, I think the real advantage here will be low power and high reliability, not in disposable phones. I mean, I can see how you would want to be able to destroy your phone every once in a while - but where is the market crying out for a disposable phone? Who's life does it improve? I think people will continue to keep their phones for about a year.

      Incidently, by integrating everything on a chip they should have greatly reduced the amount of dangerous stuff - even the battery for this will probably be smaller.

      • Battery probably won't get smaller. It'll probably be kept the same or made bigger to fill in the extra space. This way the customers can talk longer on a single charge. I know I don't need to recharge more than once a week (very low use user) but I know of some who have to do it more than once each day (very heavy users).

        No sure how much reliability will be affected, though. Same number of processes to print a PCB as before, I suspect. But there will be fewer wires.
      • but where is the market crying out for a disposable phone? Who's life does it improve?

        Terrorists, criminals, adulterers.

        Hmm, I'd like to see the advertising for this one.
      • You'll see more phones integrated into more things and they'll all share one number. Your monitor, your steering wheel, TV remote control, your Gameboy... Istead of carrying a phone with you, you'll use the closest device to you.

        This is a bit down the road, of course. ;-)

      • but where is the market crying out for a disposable phone?

        Are you kidding?

        If, when traveling to a foreign country in which my phone either doesn't work, or costs a boatload in roaming fees, I could buy a disposable mobile on the local network, I'd pick one up at the airport in a cold second.
    • Because they are not equally bad.

      Frankly, I'm puzzled why zinc is on there - you can buy zinc lozenges with zinc pennies. Thhere's not much market for lead lozenges.

    • Good question, but slightly off-topic so I'm replying rather than applying mod points.

      Zinc is less harmful than lead, but that's not the whole answer. The real answer is that getting rid of lead has been a rising bandwagon for years, because of the really nasty application of lead - in water pipes and in gasoline. This was directly harmful to large numbers of people. Once a bandwagon is going, it's hard to stop.

      Zinc, on the other hand, is by far the most effective way of protecting steel in many environment

    • Are you aware that breathing causes cancer? Studies show that 100% of cancer patients breathe.

      I suggest that you pull a bag over your head and protect yourself.
    • Zinc is pretty harmless, and is actually necessary for life. It has important roles in the active sites of many enzymes that are vital. So it is very safe and this seems to be a bit of overzeolous reporting.

      Cadmium and lead are dangerous as they do not have a biochemical function, and until resently exposure to high levels of them was unusual, so there are no biochemical or fast geochemical mechanisms to deal with these in the environment.

      Arsenic is in between, as their are some rare organism that utilise
  • paper cell? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by mmkkbb (816035)
    Wasn't there supposed to be a manufacturer making cardboard cell-phones with circuit boards printerd by a special inkjet? Whatever happened to them?
  • On a Chip? (Score:5, Funny)

    by NardofDoom (821951) on Tuesday January 25, 2005 @02:26PM (#11470922)
    But how will I play games/take pictures/text my friends/browse the Internet/watch TV/cook a burrito/wash my laundry! This thing will never sell.
    • Yeah, it makes no sense. A phone you make and receive CALLS on?! Come on!

    • But how will I play games/take pictures/text my friends/browse the Internet/watch TV/cook a burrito/wash my laundry
      Personal computer? All I want is something that can read in my census data from punched cards...
  • But... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by th1ckasabr1ck (752151) on Tuesday January 25, 2005 @02:26PM (#11470927)
    "It could be like the watch market of twenty of thirty years ago, when companies could give away a watch with their corporate branding,"

    But you don't need to sign up for a service plan to wear a watch...

  • by Trolling4Columbine (679367) on Tuesday January 25, 2005 @02:26PM (#11470930)
    I don't want to take pictures with my phone.
    I don't want to play MP3s with my phone.
    I don't want to check my e-mail with my phone.
    I don't want to browse the web with my phone.
    I don't want to play games with my phone.

    I just want to make phone calls with my phone. Want to lower the average price of a cell-phone? Start with taking all of that crap out of it.
    • There are some really good, new-technology phones out there that aren't filled with every "me-to" gadget. I got tired of the junk in my Nokia 3650, so the phone after that was an LG4400 (I think that was the model #). It has flawless voice quality, no camera, no web browsing, no Java. It does have text messaging, a modern color display, etc., but it's "just a phone."
    • by toxf (751111) on Tuesday January 25, 2005 @02:36PM (#11471064) Homepage
      I don't want to carry around my camera.
      I don't want a bulky portable music player.
      I don't want to have to stay in my office to stay in touch.
      I don't want to have to call a recording service to check movie times.
      I don't want to have to buy cargo pants and add pockets.

      I want my life to be simpler, smaller, and richer. Being chained to my desk, or carrying around 5 devices and a backpack-full of cables is not appealing to me.

      Everyone's got their goals.
      • Thank you.
    • I don't want to wear an electronic leash.


      Failure to plan on your part does not constitute an emergency for me.

      • I see people by the score posting this sentiment every time this comes up. Your personal preference to not have a mobile is a completely legitimate choice. But that particular reason is nonsensical. I carry a phone, but I'm not compelled to answer it all the time. I turn it off when i don't want to be disturbed, and the ringer is always silent or disabled.

        It's not an electronic leash. It's there for ME to call other people, and receive calls I want. Having one does not obligate you to answer it. But
    • by MosesJones (55544) on Tuesday January 25, 2005 @02:42PM (#11471134) Homepage
      I don't want to take pictures with my phone.

      I do, that way when I'm playing with my kids I can send pictures to the grandparents, they LOVE it.

      I don't want to play MP3s with my phone.
      I do, I'm on the train alot, being able to play MP3s on the phone stops me having to carry an MP3 player.

      I don't want to check my e-mail with my phone.

      I do, I'm out of the office alot and I'd prefer to check it on my phone than trek into the office.

      I don't want to browse the web with my phone.

      I do, Its a quick way to get the football scores at the weekend, check the news, and a quick search before meeting a client to find out some info.

      I don't want to play games with my phone

      Now this is the bit that is just plain wrong. $3.5bn was spent on Java games last year, that is a major reason that phones are cheap, people can sell you the games which drives down the cost of the devices as people upgrade to the latest phones that support 3D etc. This is consumer economics ala the PC, why do you have a 256Mb graphics card, because MS Word needs it ? Nope because Games need it. Games revenue drives innovation and keeps costs down as people upgrade.

      I'm the sort of person who gets the new Nokia 6630 (3G with all the trimmings) because I need all of the elements. And yup I get a contract (because I use the phone alot).

      Buying a basic PC, no network, no sound, no USB ports etc... is now very expensive because popular demand wants those things as standard. Its the same with phones, and its those added extras that some people then pay more money to use that keep the cost of your handset down.

      Of course if you are in the US please disregard the above as you folks get screwed on "Cell" phones, the models are crap and the networks suck.

      And if you are in Japan I know you have better phones than my 6630.
    • by blackmonday (607916) on Tuesday January 25, 2005 @02:43PM (#11471143) Homepage
      I don't get it. You can already buy many, many phones that do nothing but make phone calls. Look at any provider's web page, and they're gonna have starter phones that don't have the new in-demand fancy features. (and that's why they sell them, because people want to buy them)

      Hey, buy a used Motorola V66. It's a great phone, makes good calls and is inexpensive. You can still get all the accessories and batteries. Its small and has a metal casing, and it looks cool.

      It amuses me that the web site with the most tech-savvy members continually finds new technologies "crap" and this attitude is modded up as insightful. Don't we want phones that do *more* things, that cost the same as our old shittier, bulkier phones?

    • by gosand (234100)
      I agree with you, and I recently bit the bullet and joined Verizon. Got two Samsung A650 phones for $20. The service is $59/month, for me and my wife to share minutes. We are moving from Chicago to Arizona soon, and I needed to get phones for the trip.

      I was an early adopter of cellphones, my first was the old flip phone. (I worked at Motorola at the time) Then I got the first generation StarTac. But I just didn't use it that much. I grew to hate cellphones the more I saw them. I got rid of it arou

      • by hal2814 (725639) on Tuesday January 25, 2005 @03:15PM (#11471576)
        "I was an early adopter of cellphones, my first was the old flip phone."

        No, no, no. I was an "early adopter" of cell phones. Mine was the size fo a VCR and came with its own handy carrying case that was bigger than my wife's purse.

        Back to your point though, most cellular contracts have a backout period. I know I had 15 days with Nextel to bring my phones back if I wanted to back out of the contract. Seeing as Nextel didn't pick up at my house, I dropped them and went to Cingular within that timeframe. The Nextel salesman did tell me that I couldn't do that, but I calmly pointed out where it was written in the contract and after some arguing he gave in and cancelled our contracts. It might already be too late for you, but check your contract and see if you have a way to back out.
        • Back to your point though, most cellular contracts have a backout period. I know I had 15 days with Nextel to bring my phones back if I wanted to back out of the contract. Seeing as Nextel didn't pick up at my house, I dropped them and went to Cingular within that timeframe. The Nextel salesman did tell me that I couldn't do that, but I calmly pointed out where it was written in the contract and after some arguing he gave in and cancelled our contracts. It might already be too late for you, but check your c
    • Why do people keep saying this? It's not like you can't buy basic phones for near-nothing on the second hand market (think Nokia 3310) or even brand new basic models (Nokia 1100) which have the advantages of modern lithium batteries, an LED light (surprisingly useful), lighter weight, big buttons with good feedback and to top it all the things are damn near indestructible. These phones can be bought without contract for less than £30 ($55).

      I do want a camera on my phone - it's no substitute for a r
    • I doubt that it is going to lower any prices.

      The relevant royalties and software for a GSM phone are around 25-30$ if not more. CDMA is comparable. 3G is more.

      With so much invested in IP a dollar or so for an additional hardware feature does not really make a difference and quite often a more powerfull CPU ends up being cheaper nowdays. One of the biggest expenses is R&D. Using more powerfull hardware brings a decrease in R&D costs.

      To add to that quite often the development goes on a load with al
    • Want to lower the average price of a cell-phone?

      How do you propose they make the price lower than "FREE with 12-month contract"? Besides removing the contract requirement, obviously.

      There are plenty of low-cost phone models that do little more than place and receive phone calls (MORE than plenty if you hit up eBay and search for models from a couple years ago). It's not like anyone's trying to force everyone to get a Treo 650.
    • I don't want to take pictures with my phone.

      Actually, I was in the same court as you. Someone bought me a picture phone for Christmas (thanks Grandma :-)) and I've found in invaluable - especially when troubleshooting stuff. A picture tells a thousand words. Plus, I can take cute pictures of my children and annoy people by insisting they look at them. :)

      I don't want to play MP3s with my phone.

      I do, and I would pay money for a phone that supported this. Anyone know of a decent one with decent stora
    • by GeorgeH (5469) on Tuesday January 25, 2005 @03:29PM (#11471803) Homepage Journal
      I don't want to edit pictures with my gaming computer.
      I don't want to play MP3s with picture editing computer.
      I don't want to check my e-mail with my MP3 computer.
      I don't want to browse the web with my e-mail computer.
      I don't want to play games with my web browsing computer.

      I just want to type documents in Word with my computer. Want to lower the average price of a computer? Start with taking all of that crap out of it.
    • You are complaining about nothing. Cellular phones are already incredible cheap, that is why billions of people can afford them.
  • $25? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Let's say hypotehtically that the chip was completely free. Could you even make the case, keypad, display, arial, and battery for $25? Sounds unlikely to me.

    Bringing phone prices dows is a good thing, and cutting down on components is too. But I think the disposable cell phone sounds like it's further than 2-3 years away...
    • by eln (21727)
      Let's say hypotehtically that the chip was completely free. Could you even make the case, keypad, display, arial, and battery for $25?

      Probably. Just because your local Sprint store charges you $80 for a new battery and $50 for a cheap molded plastic faceplate doesn't mean that's what those things cost to make.

    • I bought a decent scientific calculator for about $25. It has everything a cell phone does except the chip and an antenna. The battery in a cell phone is a little beefier, too, but not so much to drive the cost way up.
  • Its nice to see it cheaper... but how much cheaper was it from before? And it will help pay as you go services, but at 25$ a pop i still think its a bit away from disposable or giveaways.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 25, 2005 @02:28PM (#11470954)
    The problem isn't the cost of the phone. It's the cost of the service that keeps me out of the market.
    • The phone costs a lot too. But much/all of that is subsidized by your expensive service.

      Try to buy a phone without the service - you'll pay $200 for the same phone you'd get as a free giveaway with a contract.
      • by mp3phish (747341) on Tuesday January 25, 2005 @03:02PM (#11471377)
        No... the phones don't cost a lot too... Only in north america are the phones price fixed...

        They are price fixed in the US by the service providers.. and then that price fix is subsidized by your 1 year contract...

        In other words, you are getting overcharged, and then they give you a discount.. There is nothing "expensive" about the process. I really hope more people in north america get enlightened about the state of affairs wrt cellphone contracts. Until customers start demanding a competative market for cellular service (and handset retailing) we won't be seeing anything any time soon.

        Let me be clear here. Cheaper phones will not have a price discount passed on to the consumers in north america. They are already damn cheap to manufacture. those screens don't cost anything to make and the circuit boards are a dime a dozen. This isn't new technology. everywhere else in the world phones are actually based on their cost to manufacture rather than their features which are enabled/disabled by the service provider. The only person who will see a benefit for integrated chips on cellphones is the executives of cingular, verison, and sprint.

        maybe in the long run you will see more reliable cellphones because of this. But that is all.
  • Tiny (Score:5, Funny)

    by StevenHenderson (806391) <stevehenderson@NoSpAM.gmail.com> on Tuesday January 25, 2005 @02:29PM (#11470964)
    Sweet...one step closer to Zoolander phones!
    • by Erbo (384)
      Should also be one step closer to the wristwatch phone...or, if you prefer, the Star Trek combadge.
  • He-he (Score:5, Funny)

    by ceeam (39911) on Tuesday January 25, 2005 @02:30PM (#11470987)
    "hould make is possible to make a cell phone for less than $25, bringing it into the realm of possibilities for low-level corporate giveaways, or a reasonable loss leader for getting people started on pay-as-you go mobile offerings"

    /me giggling quietly as typing this

    Americans, eh? :)

  • "or a reasonable loss leader for getting people started on pay-as-you go mobile offerings."

    Don't you mean "Pay-go". Mwahahahahaha!!
  • yeah... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Spytap (143526) on Tuesday January 25, 2005 @02:31PM (#11470994)
    Yeah, the cell phone providers will let that happen. The whole reason they can have you by the balls (service contract) is that you're getting a discount on the phone, tske that away and their left with actually having to provide decent service and features instead of pushing to sign new customers into a 2 year agreement.
    • Case in point. I went in to the local cingular store to pick up a phone and add a line to my wife's account. Turns out her current service plan doesn't support adding a line and her phone is "old technology", so we can't upgrade to a plan that allows it. Her phone isn't elligable for upgrade for another three months due to our current contract, so it would cost me an additional $50 if I wanted to upgrade it now. To top it off, when I gave the "wireless consultant" my wife's phone number when I first came in
  • by Japong (793982) on Tuesday January 25, 2005 @02:35PM (#11471046)

    I think there's a growing population who just wants a plain cell phone now.

    You know, for talking on - instead of having bluetooth, a built in camera, FM-Tuner, an internet service that costs $10/1 megabyte, pager and orchestrated ringtones.

    If I could buy a new (possibly smaller, lighter, more battery-efficent) cell phone I would - but stores don't carry anything that basic. You have to spend at least $100 (CDN) for anything wihout a plan, and I'm sure the lion's share of that is going towards a colour screen and features I don't want.

    Almost makes me yearn for an Apple iPhone. Does what it should, elgantly and without any extra "fluff".

    • If I could buy a new (possibly smaller, lighter, more battery-efficent) cell phone I would - but stores don't carry anything that basic. You have to spend at least $100 (CDN) for anything wihout a plan, and I'm sure the lion's share of that is going towards a colour screen and features I don't want.

      Nokia 1100. Black and white screen, long life lithium battery, not much else. Costs less than £30 ($55) without contract.
    • I think there's a growing population who just wants a plain cell phone now.

      Where do you observe this population? From what I can see, people really don't mind paying roughly the same amount every so often to get a phone with more features than their old phone.

  • by simpl3x (238301)
    Anybody know how these relate to possible data uses? It would be nice to see comm chips for cell/wi-fi built inot laptops.
    • Combined with text-to-speech and GPS you'll be able to call up your laptop after its been stolen and ask it where it is.
  • In the UK (Score:4, Informative)

    by seizer (16950) on Tuesday January 25, 2005 @02:36PM (#11471057) Homepage
    You can get a non-contract mobile for 19.99 (that's 35$ approx)

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0002K780 8/ [amazon.co.uk]
  • Cheap devices. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jericho4.0 (565125) on Tuesday January 25, 2005 @02:36PM (#11471059)
    I think this is interesting not because it promises cheap phones, but the spread of cheap access to the network for other devices. Laptops with built in cell access, vending machines, cars, etc.

  • invisible cells (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Doc Ruby (173196) on Tuesday January 25, 2005 @02:36PM (#11471062) Homepage Journal
    Putting a "cellphone" on a chip for $10 is not just good news for cheap "cellphones". It's great news for putting everything on the Internet, along with the simple human interface that is the 12-key pad and voice. Back through the early 20th Century, motors were big, complex, inefficient and expensive enough that motors were a separate industry. Factories used to have a single motor, like a mill or animal-driven cogwheel, its power distributed through the enterprise over pulleys, ropes and chains. Once motors became cheap commodities, simple to integrate, motors became commonplace enough to become invisible, and the motor industry was subsumed into the larger electronics and transportation industries they enable. Now that cellphones are becoming similarly mundane components, we can start to forget about them, and the era when immediate communication among people and devices required a second thought.
    • Do people really need to stay in contact that often?
      • Re:invisible cells (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Doc Ruby (173196)
        After telecom ubiquity changes our lives (again), we'll think more of it as "always connected". Like an "always-on" Internet connection. Old people like me might never need it, but kids will be unable to think of the world as disconnected, or where distance matters for keeping in touch. Communications paradigms are rarely driven by "need" in the mass market, but rather by convenience, and universality.
      • Do people really need to stay in contact that often?

        So do, but most just think they do.
  • by reporter (666905) on Tuesday January 25, 2005 @02:41PM (#11471109) Homepage
    The marketing idea that Texas Instruments (TI) has developed is a rehash of an old idea: set a low price point and maximize the amount of functionality that can be sold at that point. One of the earliest examples is the VIC-20 computer from Commodore. It set the price of the contraption at (I think) $199.95, and then the engineers put as much functionality as they could into the product at the price point. The VIC was a smashing success even though William Shatner (ouch!) served as the spokesmodel.

    Here, TI is setting a low price point for the chip/chipset and cramming as much functionality as TI's engineers can force into the chip/chipset. Over time, such efforts become easier because the feature size of integrated circuits becomes smaller, and you can simply put more "stuff" into a fixed area of chip. Further, the area of the chip determines its price to a first-order approximation.

    I wish that someone would do another VIC-20. For $200.00, I bet that we could get an awesome computer, but I doubt that any of the traditional companies like HP, IBM, and Sony would be interested. The profit margin would be minimal. So, these companies continue to set a high price point, say, $2000.00, and sell a system with commensurate functionality -- a lot of functionality that I simply do not need for reading e-mail and posting articles to SlashDot.

  • by shic (309152) on Tuesday January 25, 2005 @02:41PM (#11471117)
    I'm not sure how it is in the rest of the world, but here in the UK I've long suspected that the whole mobile telecoms industry is "bent as a nine-bob note" (to use a local colloquialism!)

    For example, looking at the phone I'd like to buy - it costs around £300 without a contract, but can be had for free on a 12 month contract costing approximately £20 to £25 per month plus calls. This suggests that a substantial portion of the contract price is subsidy for the phone. One would assume, therefore, that if I were to buy the phone outright that the airtime contract would be significantly cheaper? Well - it doesn't work like that. I'd still end up paying about the same for airtime and calls. What I feel we need far more than a cheap chip is an honest pricing policy. The whole business of subsidised handsets, IMHO stinks.

    • Why doesn't the montly fee drop after the contract expires? Presumably you've paid off the phone by then.

      I'm about to get another 'free' phone just to chip away at their profit margin!
        • Why doesn't the montly fee drop after the contract expires? Presumably you've paid off the phone by then.

        That's where the profit comes in. In the parent post, he says his phone is 300£ - the contract 25-30£. At the high rate, he will pay 360£ in a year. It would be shocking if the provider paid full retail, but the provider probably doesn't make a ton of money the first year anyway. It's the second year - the one where you don't switch providers because it is an RPIA - that the pro

  • or a reasonable loss leader for getting people started on pay-as-you go mobile offerings.

    Almost every cell provider does this already, and not just for pay-as-you go type offerings. Cingular has three phones that are free [cingular.com] instantly, with no mail in rebates involved.

    Pre-paid phones usually rely on mail in rebates, but there are still prepaid phones available that would net to free after (if?) the rebate check arrives.
  • by PetoskeyGuy (648788) on Tuesday January 25, 2005 @02:42PM (#11471133)
    The landfill industry
  • I don't see where these comclusions came from. Single-sourced chips from TI are likely to be MORE expensive than more generic chips. The cost of the chips is dwarfed by the costs of marketing the phones. None of this is likely to lead to a $25 phone.
  • Is a cellsite on a chip and free airwaves. Like they used to be.
  • Hasn't anyone else gathered that by integrating everything into a single chip architecture, the amount of waste on the front end should be far less.
    • Depends on what's used. The densely packed circuitry in cell phones typically requires Tantalum. If this only increases the dependence then no it's not better, because sand is everywhere and we don't have to strip mine the jungle and support warlords to get it. Google coltan
  • What did I miss? (Score:3, Informative)

    by bahamat (187909) on Tuesday January 25, 2005 @03:00PM (#11471347) Homepage
    Don't they already give away phones, and have pay as you go services? We don't need a $25 chip for that.

    Not that cell phone capabilities on inexpensive chips isn't welcomed, but your pitch seems a little skewed. I'm not very excited about new technologies that will let me do what has already been going on for years (which is why the Media PC is such a non-event). Dream a little about the possibilities of new technology! How about Spooner's phone from I, Robot? "Hey, cool bluetooth earpiece!", "No, that's my whole phone!" Or maybe Steve Jobs will decide to add this into the next iPod version. Now that's a little more exciting.
  • Liberate the Phones! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by rdmiller3 (29465) on Tuesday January 25, 2005 @03:21PM (#11471671) Journal
    The most sensible thing that a phone manufacturer could do to beat the price crunch that the mobile phone service companies have them under is
    make phones that are capable of communicating directly to each other and/or network through each other without any central service!

    They should still be able to use a regular mobile service but keep a little record of numbers which are "direct-callable". Once a phone recognizes another as direct-callable, it would request whatever info it would need to establish point-to-point communications and then see whether it could reach the other. If not but other such phones were in the area, it might even ask them if they could relay the call!

    Might as well add in a drop-in charging base station so that it could function as a cordless handset when in range of your home phone line, as long as I'm dreaming.

    How much would you pay for a phone that knew how to "cheat" the phone company by leaving their billing system out of some calls whenever it could find a more direct route?

    Every public place would become a network hub, every road a backbone...

  • I can't believe I haven't seen the response:

    This could mean cheaper more ubiquitous locating devices for everyone and everything.....

    Track everyone cheaper.

    Where are the paranoids?
  • No cellphone will cost $25. They will be free or $1 with 1-2 year contract, and $199+ without a contract, just as today's shitty phones.

    What I'd like is honest cell phone and services market without fucking lock-in, simlocks and phones sold exclusivelly via GSM operators with artificially inflated "official" end user prices and operators "sponsoring" said phones.

    You know, like in market economy.

    Robert

  • Remember those super-low cost DISPOSABLE cell phones that were just around the corner in early 2001? Was that just a dot com bubble wet dream or what?

    They sure fell off the radar.
  • (and, no.. I didn't RTFA).. Does anyone know the current cost of manufacturing a (low-end) cell phone?

APL is a write-only language. I can write programs in APL, but I can't read any of them. -- Roy Keir

Working...