New Islamic phone always points towards Mecca

As sales of mobile devices grow across the globe, one company believes it can grab a sizeable piece of the market, not by embracing the trend towards more powerful devices and app-driven ecosystems, but by creating a focused device for one specific sector. Malaysian company Enmac, the self-acclaimed ‘world leader in digital Islamic products’, has announced the launch of its new handset tailored exclusively for Muslim customers.

The MQ710 includes the Koran in 29 languages, and offers many other features compatible with the Islamic faith, such as a compass that permanently points towards the holy site of Mecca, a guide to aid pilgrims in performing the Hajj rituals at Mecca and Medina, and even a mode that automatically switches the phone to silent during times of prayer.

The handset will also read the Koran to you, with a choice of seven prominent voice-actors, and includes a zakat calculator, to help Muslims to observe one of Islam’s ‘five pillars’, the donation of a portion of one’s wealth to charity.

It’s fair to say, then, that this is a specialised device – not one that will take the world of technology by storm, but one that may well resonate with its intended audience. The company behind the new handset is focusing its launch on Muslims in India, currently the world’s fastest growing mobile phone market. Enmac believes that India’s Muslim community has not been well served by existing products on the market.

Speaking with The Telegraph, Anuj Kanish of Enmac said:

India has around 180 million Muslims, and the penetration of mobile phones in that community is less. So far, we have had a tremendous response for the project. Religion has a very important place in Indian society; so has the mobile phone. Our aim was to bring a device which caters to both… a combination of both technology and religion – the first of its kind in India.”

Forward thinking, perhaps – but the tech specs of the MQ710 are emphatically stuck in the past. A 2.4” TFT LCD touchscreen with 240x320 resolution sits up front, and a stylus is provided to aid navigation. A camera (resolution not specified) and FM radio are also included, as are earphones and USB 2.0 support, but the rest of the features listed on the company’s website are standard fare – SMS, MMS, video and music player etc.

One feature worth highlighting is that the device offers dual-SIM support, a critical feature in the Indian market, where families often share a single phone. Nokia has traditionally been the leader in this field in India, and its new Asha smartphones aim to continue this trend.

It remains to be seen whether Enmac’s new device will take a significant chunk out of Nokia’s share of that market, but if the MQ710 ticks the right boxes for you, you can order yours for 6,500 Indian rupees ($127 USD / £81 GBP / €95 EUR).

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