India’s $4 Smartphone

Late last month, news reports were swirling about a new $4 phone being put on sale in India. The phone, which doesn’t have the capabilities of smartphones like the iPhone or Galaxy, is still impressive for its cost to the consumer, and the fact it was created in India is hopeful for many reasons.

Products created in the country they are distributed in have a much more difficult time being created with inhumane or exploitative labor to the degree that we have seen from factories producing those aforementioned smartphones today. So, a product that could be easily built upon by a growing tech industry in India with an infusion of capital funded by high sales of this basic smartphone is essentially a free gift for economic growth in this sector and also promises more high-paying, high-quality jobs in India potentially than foreign firms could offer.

However, everything from an actually Chinese made demo given to journalists to controversy over the product in India doesn’t give much legitimacy to the company building this cheap Indian phone. Western and Asian tech needs to flood India with the right amount of tech at the fairest level of equity possible in order to develop even more established and even more capable phones than this one because that’s the only way India’s tech market is going to grow rapidly enough to catch up to the West and Asia in the next decade or two.