Vodafone's Low-Cost Cell Phone Gambit

The world's top mobile operator wants to pitch cheap sets to emerging markets. Can it compete with established brands like Nokia and Motorola?

Hoping to push deeper into emerging markets, the world's largest mobile operator, Vodafone Group, is taking a page from the Nokia and Motorola songbook. On May 21, Vodafone executives announced in London that the company is rolling out its own line of ultra-low-cost handsets. To be built by a Chinese partner, the GSM-standard phones will carry the Vodafone brand name and sell for $25 to $45, depending on locale.

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