Back in 2000 we designed 'Pulp', a disposable mobile phone manufactured from recycled paper pulp. Selected for The International Design Yearbook - edited by Marcel Wanders and also featured in many other publications.
Designed in an era when very few of us owned mobile cell phones and before many operators supported technology such as GSM, making international roaming possible, this concept was aimed at the occasional user or international traveler. Shortly after SMS text messaging and digital networks emerged followed by 3G, Smart Phones and the rest is history.
Recently we noticed that their might still be a place for such a device in todays saturated market of feature rich hand held devices, as BIC, famous for disposable pens and lighters, launches the 'BIC Phone'.
The product which can be bought at supermarkets, petrol stations and airports, comes charged and ready to use immediately with an hours free calls. Users will then be able to top up the Phone's airtime by buying Mobicarte pre-pay cards.
In France over 110,000 BIC phones were sold since August 2008 which clearly shows that there is a market for this type of product. Maybe people looking for simplicity, a back-up phone or a second phone for those of us who prefer not to disclose our private number when shopping online or posting ads.
In a world where brand is considered king, a powerful wealth creator and vehicle of value, it leaves several questions; Is branding still effective? And where does this leave product? [Read full article]