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The Ideal Smartphone for the Developing World

Dear All,

I am very interested in the penetration of smartphones in developing countries. However, I feel that what is currently being offered doesn't respond to the needs of these regions. So, here are some ideas I have for a good smartphone for that specific market. Tell me what you think, and add your own ideas!

What's most important is to have an extremely sturdy phone, that can resist rough environments. Of course, it would have to be extremely cheap (max: 50$). A large, very resistant, screen touch screen is necessary.

A great feature for this phone could be physicial add-ons. By that I mean tools that can be physically attached to the phone. Ex: Hand-turbine could plug into the phone to recharge the batteries. Sensors could be plugged in to test water, soil, or take blood samples. This would make the device a tool for improving peoples lives. Hopefully, 'add-ons' could be designed locally, and sold or rented for an extremely low price.

The phone should also be an educational tool. For students in remote villages, it could be a great way to learn how to read, write and access all sorts of knowledge.
For adults, the phone could come with health guidelines, agricultural advice, or apps to help spread literacy.

Cost constraints would severely limit storage space. So, Mini-USB keys could be a solution. For Example, the weight of wikipedia English is only 8 Gb. we could imagine a Wikipedia key that connects to the phone, and gives offline access to the site.

The phone should also be 'hackable locally'. People should be able to tweak the phone to fit their needs and be able to repair it for an extremely low price.

The device should have a strong emphasis on Health and education. Such a tool could greatly empower populations in the developing regions of the world.

Such a device could have a market flourish around it, and thus spur growth.

Thank you All.


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