A projection screen in the Kondor boardroom throws up an image of the world with several red dots to show where Bluetooth chip maker Bluechipworld has offices. “It won’t be long before the map is covered in red dots”, he says.
It’s only been two months or so since Hassell left accessories company Kondor to take charge of Bluechipworld as managing director. Is it too early to talk about world domination?
Hassell says he has good reason to be hopeful of expanding Bluechipworld’s presence. The man who also used to run Dextra’s prepay business says the not-so-secret weapon is the VX-1, a SIM-free handset the size of a credit card capable of supporting basic mobile phone functions.
Samples of the phone are now in the UK and it will be available from major retailers for just £19.99. It will also launch in America, Australia, New Zealand, Scandinavia, Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and Switzerland.
Hassell says the device’s simplicity will see it occupy a niche of its own. “This has been in the pipeline for a while. We knew we had to do something different. We’re not trying to compete against the big handset manufacturers.”
Sales director Jason Bisseker, who joined from Kondor with Hassell, says: “It’s such a flexible phone. If if gets damaged you’ve only spent £19.99. We see it as an emergency, travel or festival phone”.
Hassell says the VX-1 will appeal to frequent travellers because its SIM-free status makes it compatible with SIM cards from MVNOs such as Lebara Mobile and Lycamobile. “We think that we’ve really cracked this one,” he beams.
Full article in Mobile News issue 447 (September 9, 2009).
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