Qualcomm has seemingly cashed in on feature phone nostalgia with the launch of its 205 Mobile Platform, designed to bring 4G LTE connectivity and 4G services to entry-level feature phones.
While the smartphone is now seen as critical to the day-to-day lives of the digital consumer, a wave of nostalgia saw the Nokia 3310 grab the headlines at Mobile World Congress last month. These phones may gain some traction on the streets of Shoreditch, or other equally pretentious hipster-hangouts, but the target here is the developing nations where features are more of a necessity as opposed to a fashion accessory.
“Qualcomm Technologies is committed to the migration of users and networks from 2G, 2.5G, and 3G to 4G,” said Kedar Kondap, VP of Product Management at Qualcomm. “Feature phones are a lifeline in many emerging countries and the Qualcomm 205 Mobile Platform allows us to bring 4G connectivity and services to the masses with devices at price points never seen before.”
Areas such as India, Latin America, and Southeast Asia, have populations still reliant on the feature phone, but are still keeping pace with the LTE revolution. Some may question why such devices would need 4G capabilities, however the inclusion of such features would allow operators to embrace LTE data services such as VoLTE and VoWi-Fi. Another positive impact would be more of a reliance on LTE networks, freeing up spectrum as 2G and 3G networks are shut down over time.
While this is hardly news which is going to shake the world, it is another example of the incremental step forward which will define the digital era. There will not be a Day Zero when the connected economy becomes real, we’ll get there without realizing, and most likely face-down, entranced by a 5” screen playing a cat video.