Former Apple chief executive (1983-93) John Sculley caught the tech industry off-guard today when he revealed a pair of low-cost but sleek Android (uniquely skinned, running Lollipop) smartphones.
The two phones, which bring to mind elements from Nokia’s Lumia devices and HTC’s polycarbonate unibody mid-range phones, are the result of a collaboration between Sculley and Robert Brunner’s Ammunition Group.
The Obi Worldphone SJ1.5 ($129) and SF1 ($199) are designed in San Fransisco, but expected to be initially launched outside the U.S. in emerging markets. This is likely in an attempt to steal some market share from players like Xiaomi and Huawei who have had so much success to date.
Xiaomi and Huawei have already pushed past Apple to become the first and second largest phone makers in China, the world’s biggest smartphone market as of Q2. It’s unclear if Sculley will initially include China in his plans for emerging markets in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East — but it would probably be a good idea.
— JOHN NOSTA (@JohnNosta) August 26, 2015
If Obi Worldphone can take even a very marginal slice of market share in an emerging market like China, with its 250 million connected 4G mobile users as of July (on a total mobile user base of 1.29 billion), it would make for a strong start to the Obi line. Large but lesser explored markets like Indonesia will also be of interest. And then, of course, there’s India.
On the slightly more expensive SF1, the product description reads:
A floating high-resolution screen sets the tone for the power of surround sound and performance of professional camera equipment. With leading-edge processor and battery life, Obi Worldphone SF1 is built for living.
And on the cheaper SJ1.5:
You can recognise Obi Worldphone SJ1.5 from across the room. Quality materials, carefully applied splashes of color and extra sharp finishes show off your smart choice. An instantly recognisable shape breaks the mold. With a crisp, squared-off top and a curved bottom that gives it a distinctive look and feel, SJ1.5 is modern fun that never grows old.
Check out the official video below, or head on over to the Obi Worldphone and Ammunition Group websites to check out the full gallery of images (specs included at bottom):
SJ1.5 product specifications:
- Polycarbonate unibody with curved touch display
- Magnesium-Titanium Alloy chassis for added strength, 131g\5” IPS with curved glass touch panel
- HD (1280 x 720 pixels), 294 pip
- Corning Gorilla Glass 3
- Android 5.1 Lollipop
- MediaTek MT6580, 1.3 GHz Quad-core processor
- 16GB Internal Storage + 1GB RAM
- MicroSD up to 32 GB
- Primary camera 8MP AF OV8865 with LED Flash (f/2.2 Aperture)
- Rear-facing camera 5 MP
- Dual Micro SIM
- Micro USB v2.0
- Embedded 3000 mAh Li-Po battery
SF1 product specifications:
- 4G LTE
- Unibody with metallic accents and floating glass display, 147g, 7.8mm thick
- 5” JDI In-Cell IPS
- Full HD (1080 x 1920 pixels), 443 ppi
- Protection Corning Gorilla Glass 4
- Android 5.0.2 Lollipop
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 615, 1.5 GHz 64-bit Octa-core processor (Adreno 405 GPU)
- 32GB Internal Storage + 3GB RAM or 16GB Internal Storage + 2GB RAM
- MicroSD up to 64 GB
- Rear camera 13MP AF with LED Flash (Sony Exmor IMX214 Sensor; f/2.0 Aperture)
- Front-facing camera 5 MP with LED Flash
- Dual SIM (Micro+Nano)
- USBMicroUSB v2.0
- Embedded 3000 mAh Li-Po battery with Quick Charge 1.0