Disposable cell phone

From: Jim Whitehead (ejw@cse.ucsc.edu)
Date: Tue Feb 20 2001 - 10:49:41 PST

OK, these are relatively old bits, but somehow they never made it to FoRK
(came to my attention from this week's RCFoC as well):

http://www.geek.com/news/geeknews/2001jan/gee20010122003898.htm (has


"I was driving with my cell phone -- which I shouldn't be, but I'm always on
the phone -- and I kept losing the damned cell signal, and it was driving me
nuts," she explained. "I just wanted to throw the bloody thing out the
window. And that's when it popped into my head disposable cell phones."


"It's just a dumb phone, it really is," she said. "It's about three credit
cards thick; it's about the size of a credit card. It works just like your
regular phone, except it doesn't have any features. That's really all there
is to it."

There will be two models, she said. The call-out-only model should retail
for $10, and the version that accepts incoming calls will be a couple of
bucks more expensive.


Issues remain to be resolved. There's regulatory approval, which she hopes
to have before summer.

"We hope to ship by third quarter," she said. "It really depends on the
regulatory agencies."

Then there's the issue of all the phone numbers all these call-in models
would need. That's part of what she's working out with carriers, she said.


The inventor, Randi Altschul, is also working on a paper laptop, which would
cost $20 and be available at the end of 2002.

- Jim

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