Made-in-Malaysia Android phone for under RM500

  • M3 Communicator comes with NFC chip
  • ’80-90% of the iPhone experience at 30% of the cost’

Made-in-Malaysia Android phone for under RM500LOCAL start-up DMD Mobile Sdn Bhd launched in February a full-featured smartphone built on Google’s Android platform, targeted at pre-paid users and costing RM500 or less.

The DMD Android Smartphone Communicator, also called the M3 Communicator, comes with a built-in Near Field Communications chip that would allow it to act as a contactless smartcard and electronic wallet, amongst other applications.

The company is aiming at pre-paid users who find the entry price of smartphones of between RM1,000 and RM2,000 a serious barrier. To sweeten the deal, RM10 per month will give users unlimited chat, instant messaging and email.

“To be honest, we are not looking at those who already own a Blackberry or smartphone, but at those who find the typical RM2,000 entry point and RM60 per month data plan as being beyond their means,” says Herve Jegou, DMD Mobile founder and chief executive officer.

“We are very focused on bringing innovation to the people, and an innovation that is only available to 10% of the people is meaningless,” he adds.

He says that users of the M3 Communicator would also be able to download and use Android apps as they would with any other Android smartphone. DMD Mobile has also designed a streamlined user interface that it claimed was simpler and allowed users to get to their social networks much more easily with unified messaging.

“We are not about selling the device, but about the user experience. We want to give Malaysians 80-90% of the Blackberry or iPhone experience at 30% of the cost,” Jegou says.

The M3 Communicator is a 3.75G phone with support for GPS (Global Positioning System), WiFi Direct and Bluetooth 4.0. It will be on the latest Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) platform by June-July, which would mean even faster speeds, he adds.

He says that two Malaysian mobile operators have already come on board to offer the devices to their customers. However, he declines to name them, adding that an announcement would be made before the M3 Communicator becomes commercially available.

This article previously appeared in

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