BoP Marketing at Work: A $25 smartphone?

Here’s an example of Bottom of the Pyramid marketing, as we’ve seen recently in our studies of International Business (GEB3373). Companies are realizing that finding innovative ways to create and market products for low-income consumers around the world has the potential to bring significant mutual benefits – increased profits for the company and an enhanced standard of living for the target audience. The latest example comes from Mozilla, the company noted for producing the Firefox browser. Now, according to a BBC article, Mozilla is unveiling a smartphone for emerging markets for an incredibly low cost – $25.

$25? That’s a very, very low price for a smartphone. (Note to those unaware of the details of standard smartphone pricing plans: No matter how it’s advertised, your phone is almost certainly not “free” – its cost is simply transferred into the two-year service contract used by most networks.) As the article notes, the smartphone isn’t really all that smart – it lacks many features that are expected on smartphones in the North American market, but it does have the capacity to do more than just call and text. So while it might not be quite Converged Communications smart, it’s likely to be enough for some consumers.

Do you think the $25 smartphone will be a smart investment for Mozilla? And do you have any ideas about similar markets (or similar product ideas) that could succeed?


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