The Coral 200 Solar Powered Mobile Phone is being marketed as the world’s first low cost solar powered handset, which is great if only we knew what low cost means. It’s being built in China by ZTE Corporation, and apparently will provide a day’s worth of GSM/GPRS (no 3G note) calls from a single hour of sunlight. From the blurb it looks as though the makers are hoping to sell the units in the developing markets, so let’s hope low cost translates into low price too, eh?
Now, with the launch of the Coral-200-Solar with an integrated solar charger built into the phone, Digicel takes the initiative to an even higher level. There are an estimated two billion people in the world who have limited or no access to electricity. The population of many emerging markets in which Digicel provides cellular services will benefit greatly by access to a mobile handset that can be powered by the sun, or by electric power when it is available.