As soon as the data was released showing that around 3.5 billion people that live in areas with mobile phone coverage cannot even afford a mobile phone, everyone jumped to produce a sub-$20 device. And Infineon Technologies AG of Munich is one of the first to help this come to market, their single-chip platform enables the production of ultra low-cost mobile devices. This means people who can hardly afford food will be one day able to afford a mobile phone.
The sub-$20 target cost is already inclusive of the cell phone keypad, display and charging system, as well as related software to ensure ease of use between the SMS and phone features, packaging and documentation.
Infineon states that the ULC chip platform aims to serve as a ‘reference platform’ for new product designs, an indication that the production of sub-$20 mobile phones may begin in the first half of 2006.
The new chip platform has condensed the current 150 to approximately 200 electric components needed in mobile phones today to just below 100 electric components. This is so because Infineon merged the processor and the send and receive electronics components, reducing the whole package to just one-third the size of current designs (just about 3 centimeters on 3 centimeters to be exact).
Even with the low cost mobile phones, people that couldn’t afford the expense of a mobile phone, most likely still won’t be able to. Even if they are $18.99 at WalMart, the service is usually twice that, each month!