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Indian firm releases phone with an optical disc drive

Spice (opens in new tab), the Indian telco communications that debuted the £10 mobile phone, is on track to release another first; a mobile phone that comes with an integrated optical drive to play movies, something akin of Sony's PSP proprietary UMD.

The discs are proprietary in nature, read by a blue laser and use the H.264 standard to deliver the content on a gorgeous 2.8-inch screen.

The phone itself looks like an old Motorola colour phone with an elongated screen; but you still get a TV out and up to 3.5 hours viewing time.

Jack Schofield (opens in new tab) from Guardian, says that it will ultimately be cheaper to flog mini DVD like optical media - which can be pressed for pennies and Spice will launch 40 Bollywood movies on optical drive followed by an estimated 1000 through partnership.

Similar handsets are expected to be released in other emerging countries like China and it is understood that dual layer 2GB discs and recordable drives are on their way.

This would mean that the drive could be used as a video recorder.

In related news, Spice is also offering a service that allows its users to call for free in exchange for in-conversation advertising.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.