Earlier this evening the boy who works in my family’s home in Karachi returned, very excited might I add after grocery shopping with a $45 (PKR 4,500) Android dual SIM iPhone made in yours truly China! He showed it to me for advise if he should buy it or not. First impressions it looked like a damn good device – it has all the functionality of an iPhone, BlackBerry or Samsung Galaxy device.
It looks like the real deal, if it weren’t for the touch screen which is the give away. It uses the inexpensive resistive touch technology vs capacitive touch technology. However from the OS standpoint its a complete Android OS with a fully functional Android App store, capable of running all the commonly used apps -from WhatsApp, YouTube, GoogleTalk, Yahoo, games, etc.
The global mobile revolution is on the verge of an explosion; Where inexpensive copycats like this “iPhone” are fast becoming main drivers of the mobile economy. Emerging users of such devices hold the keys to future of mobile commerce in the vastly underdeveloped world.
This phone is only one example, there are numerous other copycats produced produced everyday – from Sony, HTC, to Samsung each having some aspect replicated - of-course lets not discount popular South East Asian QMobile brand that provide $50 – $150 (PKR 5,000 – PKR 15,000) smartphones, a little more sophisticated catering to the burgeoning middle class consumer.
Armed with a cheap “copycat” smartphone, and a post/pre paid economical mobile service plan the poorest of the poor can pull themselves and their communities out of poverty –paving the path for a whole new genre of micro-business opportunities!
Visuals of the “copycat” iPhone on Android:
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