Sun aims for ultra-cheap cell phones

Call it Sun Microsystems' answer to One Laptop Per Child.

The server and software company hopes to sell a version of Java to phone companies that will bring network access to the world's computers, executives said here at the JavaOne trade show.

"Java will play a central role in bringing the Internet to the planet," Chief Executive Jonathan Schwartz said during a news conference. "It will be the software to build the devices to bridge the digital divide." In a brief speech at the show, Schwartz indicated he believed the Java-powered mobile phones could be sold for $30 to $50 apiece.

That's a notch cheaper than the $100 price the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) initiative hopes to reach in 2008. OLPC began at the MIT Media Lab but now is a separate initiative to build easy-to-use, Linux-powered wirelessly networked devices.

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You can already buy a Motorola phone in the UK sim free without any sort of line (not even Pay as you go) for £40... how much cheaper does he want?

"Java will play a central role in bringing the Internet to the planet," Chief Executive Jonathan Schwartz said during a news conference. "It will be the software to build the devices to bridge the digital divide." In a brief speech at the show, Schwartz indicated he believed the Java-powered mobile phones could be sold for $30 to $50 apiece.


So how exactly do mobile phones = internet? Is this guy as confused as he seems? Just because some cellphones have Internet browser capability, doesn't mean that cell phones run on VOIP, or anything like that...

He's been smoking too many java-powered rolls of fine columbian coffee if he thinks "Java will play a central role in bringing the Internet to the planet". How do I know? Well, you see what he said is completely true except for the "Java" part and the "bringing the Internet to the planet" part.

8-n-1 said,
"Java will play a central role in bringing the Internet to the planet," Chief Executive Jonathan Schwartz said during a news conference. "It will be the software to build the devices to bridge the digital divide." In a brief speech at the show, Schwartz indicated he believed the Java-powered mobile phones could be sold for $30 to $50 apiece.


You can get a "mobile" phone that looks like a cell phone, but connects through a WiFi internet service. You have to be need a Hot spot to use it, though.

http://www.vonage.ca/device.php?type=F1000

Aren't a lot of cell phones included for free when you sign up for a plan? I had bought a cell phone, with a pre-paid plan, for $99CAN and that included the phone (Nokia 2275) with $50CAN of air time as well a couple years ago.

Cell phone prices are always subsidized when you purchase with a plan, but when you do that you're forced to accept all the modifications and functionality restrictions that the carrier puts on that phone.

If these phones get a full feature set and get pushed through retail channels at those prices, it could be a good alternative to getting carrier locked down phones.

cykosis said,
Cell phone prices are always subsidized when you purchase with a plan, but when you do that you're forced to accept all the modifications and functionality restrictions that the carrier puts on that phone.

If these phones get a full feature set and get pushed through retail channels at those prices, it could be a good alternative to getting carrier locked down phones.

Wouldn't that be true even if you already owned a phone and were looking for a plan separately? I'm not locked into anything with my pre-paid plan. I can cancel at any time and I get to keep the phone as well. I can even go there with a phone from a separate store and get the same plan for $30 or so dollars cheaper.