Everyone deserves a smartphone, don't they? And Orange has risen to the occasion by announcing it is launching a line of affordable smartphones for around £100.
First up is the Orange Boston, manufactured by Foxconn and available for £100 on PAYG, or free on some 'affordable' pay-monthly tariffs. It's an Android phone with the 'full smartphone experience' - so no skimping on features, with a 3.3-inch capacitive touch-screen, five-megapixel camera with flash and autofocus, full access to the 50,000 apps at the Android Market and Wi-Fi, HSDPA and A-GPS support. The phone will also be preloaded with the Orange App Shop, which will offers picks from the Android Market, as well as Orange-created apps like Orange Wednesdays.
It's launching in Spain and probably won't make it over to the UK, but its spec list is a heartening take on the £100 smartphone, and the sort of devices we can expect. Tariffs-wise, Orange will be rolling out to Europe its Animal tariffs that we here in the UK already enjoy, but tariff changes for us Brits are still TBC.
Orange has already announced an Android device manufactured by Huawei to launch in June, and a ZTE Android phone (the Racer?) in August - and ZTE has itself unveiled a veritable rash of affordable smartphones this year, so this is just the beginning. Orange spokesperson Patrick Remy said that the operator was only looking at Android phones at the moment, as thus far, the likes of Windows Mobile and Symbian have yet to appear on devices cheap enough to be part of the range.
The operator is also running LTE trials and investing roughly 12% of its revenue into increasing network capacity to support the increase in users surfing the mobile internet on their brand-new affordable smartphones.