Innovation That Matters

Instant-use phone by BIC


BIC, the French purveyor of billions of lighters, pens and razors, recently launched the anti-iPhone. No waiting in line, no activation, no costly plans and no frills whatsoever. BIC phones, which retail at EUR 49 and come in orange and green versions, are ready to go: the battery is charged, SIM card installed and the phone comes with 10 talk minutes that are valid without registering with network provider Orange. Once the 10 minutes are up, customers can activate with Orange for a further 50 free minutes, and can buy top-up cards for more talk time. BIC/Orange stress that this isn’t a disposable phone, more of a back-up phone for households to use when an extra, dedicated line might be useful—when selling a car or an apartment, for example. We can also see these selling well at airports, for travellers who want a local phone to avoid roaming charges, and want to be able to use it immediately without first having to charge or activate. Which makes for a good vending machine opportunity: set up machines near gate exits at Charles de Gaulle. Spotted by: RK ________ More phone-related innovation: Pedal-charging cellphones at music festival Modular mobile phone can slip into new roles New phone company, made in Silicon Valley Community designs phones, inside and out




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