Tag Archives: Spice

Awesome twosome from Spice and Sony Ericsson

8 Aug

During the past couple of days, Sony Ericsson and Spice Mobile launched two unique handsets. While the Swedish handset vendor brought back the retro T610 back to life in the form of T700, Indian Spice Mobile made a grand entry to the world of mobile gaming with the X-1 that comes with a gaming console attachment. Let’s check ‘em out!

The folks at Spice Mobile never cease to amuse us. After throwing a couple of phones with dual SIM card slots, here we have the X-1, a serious gaming phone. And when we say serious, we mean business. The X-1 comes with a gaming console that connects to the phone and transforms it into a, err, gaming console. What’s more, the 2.4 inch display has an auto rotate feature which rotates the screen orientation for a wide-screen experience while playing games.

If you are not the gamer kinds then you can tap your feet to its Yamaha amplified 3-D surround sound speakers or record your favourite number over the radio waves. Go grab it for Rs 8,899 and don’t forget to tell us if it’s better than Nokia’s N-Gage.

Sony Ericsson may acquire Spice Mobile

11 Jul

Sweden-based Sony Ericsson, the world’s third fourth largest cellphone vendor, is in talks to acquire India-based Spice Mobile, reports the Economic Times. Spice Mobile, a BK Modi company, has a range of GSM and CDMA handsets under the Spice brand. The company had announced asub-$20 phone devoid of a display screen in February at the Mobile World Congress.

Spice Mobile has a market capitalisation of round Rs 177 crore with its shares closing at Rs 22.7 on Thursday on the Bombay Stock Exchange. However, Modi is looking for Rs 80 – 100 per share, which values Spice Mobile at around Rs 700 crore. Modi had last month exited his other telecom entity, Spice Telecom, a carrier operational in two circles of Punjab and Karnataka.


Spice launches CDMA phone with 10 hours talktime

30 Apr

Just like we reported last week, Spice has launched its first CDMA phone with a whopping 10 hours of talktime. The C810 is based on Qualcomm’s single chip solution – the QSC6020 chipset – coupled with a gigantic 2000 mAh battery. Priced at Rs 7,499 ($185), it comes with a 1.3 MP camera, Bluetooth, FM radio and memory card slot. The C810 will be available in the open market, which means that consumers on any CDMA network can snap it.

Exclusive: Spice Mobile to enter CDMA handset biz

26 Apr

Spice Mobile, a part of BK Modi’s Spice Corp Limited, is expected to enter the CDMA handset business in India. The company will launch its first CDMA phone on April 29, which will be followed by a range of CDMA cellphones in the coming months. 

According to information received by Cellpassion, Spice will launch one CDMA phone on Tuesday, which will be priced in between Rs 6,500 – Rs 7,500. The USP of the device will be its mammoth 2000 mAh battery, which should provide users with nearly double the talk time that common CDMA phones provide. The phone won’t be tied to any carrier, a move that will enable consumers to choose any CDMA carrier of their choice.

Spice Mobile already offers a large portfolio of GSM handsets in India and is expected to launch a sub-$20 handset in the next couple of months.

Opera – adding Spice to the mobile Internet revolution

28 Feb

Today seems to be a busy day for the guys at Opera in Oslo, Norway. After tying up with Google to have Google Search as the default search engine for Opera Mini, the company has tied-up with India’s Spice Mobile to embed the mobile browser in the latter’s upcoming range of cellphones. Opera Mini, which works on any Java enabled handset, enables users to browse any website on their cellphone. The browser re-renders web pages automatically to fit a cellphone’s screen and also compresses pages to enable faster page downloads and low data consumption – two major worries consumers have when it comes to surfing the Internet on cellphones.

It is not the first time that Opera has entered into such a tie-up. Late last year, the company had a similar arrangement with Tata Indicom for pre-embedding Opera Mini on Brew-enabled handsets operating on its CDMA network. Motorola had also employed Opera Mini on its Razr2 V8, a handset based on the Linux Mobile platform. Later, Opera entered into another agreement with Motorola for making Opera Mobile – the full browser that enables users to open multiple browser windows – the default Internet browser on the Moto Q9h, a Windows Mobile smartphone.

Ironically, all Windows Mobile devices come with a mobile version of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser. However, the browser has not found many takers as Microsoft has so far failed to adapt it for the changing Web 2.0 scenario. Opera Software ASA, which started as a research project in 1994 in Telenor, one of Norway’s largest telecom companies, before branching out as Opera Software ASA a year later, saw this as a big opportunity waiting to be tapped. Apart from the deal with Motorola, we are also hearing about the possibility of a similar tie-up with the world’s largest Windows Mobile device manufacturer, which might pre-load the latest Opera Mobile 9.5 on its range of Windows Mobile devices.

In December last year, Opera had also filed an anti-trust complaint with the European Union against Microsoft, which it accused of “abusing its dominant position by tying Internet Explorer to the Windows operating system and by hindering interoperability by not following accepted web standards.” Opera also offers a desktop Internet browser. Many industry pundits saw this move as a strategy that Opera might later extended to cellphones (Nokia’s S60 range of devices, in particular), by citing the Microsoft case as precedence.

However, during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Opera CEO, Jon von Tetzchener, refuted the claim. “Let me first clarify that we didn’t sue Microsoft and have filed an anti-trust complaint. They are not following the open Web standards, which makes it difficult for developers to design sites that work on any browser,” he said.

Tetzchener, who could easily land up in a role of a Viking in a Hollywood flick thanks to his Nordic genes, doesn’t expect the same to be repeated on the mobile front, an industry which is already championing the cause of Open Standards. His calmness can be justified by the mass adoption of his company’s freely available mobile Internet browser that works on virtually any cellphone that can support Java applications.

Ask him the latest figures on the number of users and he fails to recall – the numbers keep increasing by the day. He is busy signing deals with handset brands and OEMs to make his company’s application more readily available to consumers, that is when he isn’t championing the cause of developers and consumers. For the record, the company claims over 35 million users with 1.7 billion page views a month. The browser comes preloaded on over 100 million cellphone units globally shipped so far with 55 new models introduced last year alone. With its latest tie-up spree, these figures can go only one way – up!

Spice ‘People’s Phone’ to compete with landlines

12 Feb

It is priced at less than USD 20 (Rs 800), it doesn’t have a screen, it can fit in your pocket and it can make calls. Well, that is the People’s Phone from Spice for you. With carriers expecting the next couple of billion subscribers to come from rural and smaller towns, Spice hopes to ride the wave by offering an affordable product targeted at that very segment. The People’s Phone will be available in select markets from April this year. Here’s an excerpt from an exclusive interaction with Dr BK Modi, chairman, ModiCorp.

Why will people buy a phone that doesn’t have a display screen?

It is just a matter of perception. Traditional landlines never had a display screen. Had someone announced this phone before cellphones were launched you wouldn’t ask this question. With the People’s Phone, we are offering the most affordable cellphone in the world. It is targeted at the new subscribers, who will come from smaller towns and villages with low budgets.

Are you competing with landlines with the People’s Phone?

The People’s Phone is better than a landline and slightly lesser than a conventional cellphone as it doesn’t have a display screen. The calling rates will come down to as low as 10 paisa a minute. With such low tariffs, why would a consumer want to stick around with a landline when he can go mobile by spending as much as he would in buying a landline?

What about text messaging?

Despite of data services, voice has been the predominant revenue generator for carriers. They are employing voice-based solutions to deliver value added services and the People’s Phone will take advantage of that.

It seems a perfect product for bundling with carriers.

We are already talking to a few carriers like BSNL, Vodafone and Et Salat.

Spice to launch movie phone, sub-$20 phone at MWC

5 Feb

Details about announcements from next week’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona have started filling our mail boxes. The latest one is from India’s Spice Corporation that will announce two innovative phones at the event. There is a movie phone, which, the invite indicates, will be capable of playing discs! Now we don’t know what kind of discs but in all probability these should be similar to the UMDs that are used in the PSP. Other probability could be its capability to play DivX files that users can load on memory cards. We’ll keep a look out for this one for sure.

The sub-$20 phone looks unusual as it doesn’t seem to have a display screen. The price point looks pretty attractive but we are not sure if people would like to go for a phone that doesn’t show them caller’s number or text messages or for that matter their own phonebook. Sheesh! We hope that it has a display screen hidden somewhere.