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The £5 Hop1800 disposable mobile phone gets launched

Its creators call it the Anti-iPhone and it is easy to see why, the Hop1800 mobile phone is as basic as it can get with a suggested retail price of $10 (£5).

It will be available at launch in worldwide and is one of many cellphones that have been designed for only one purpose : making phone calls only.

The Hop1800 does not even come with a screen and will be sold unlocked; at 77 grams, it offers four hours talk time, 150 hours of standby time - although you won't be able to visualise your remaining battery life - and polyphonic ring times.

Its keypad buttons have Braille markings and two versions of the phone will be available to cater for a worldwide audience.

The company is also considering a "recycle-a-phone" scheme where owners would be encouraged to send back their old HOP1800 phones and get a $5 rebate.

However, HOP-On is not the only handset manufacturer which is planning to exploit the booming market of developing countries and backup handsets and as we wrote earlier in April, the Hop-1800 will face very serious competition from the likes of Sagem and Nokia which launched a few £5 mobile phones with colour screen.

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 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.