Synchronica launches $99 MessagePhone smartphone

Synchronica MessagePhone

Synchronica has unveiled two models of its MessagePhone, a low-cost smartphone aimed at emerging markets.

The two devices are produced by the UK messaging firm and Korean manufacturer KC Mobile and offer "smartphone-like' features such as push email, instant messaging and web browser, as well as a full QWERTY keyboard, Bluetooth and more.

Both offer a 2.2in LCD screen - you won't get multi-touch at that price - as well as a MicroSD slot and 5.5 hours of talk time.

Synchronica MessagePhone

The handsets are being offered as white label devices, so the phone itself as well as the preloaded messaging software can be branded however operators choose.

"For the operators, we have delivered a messaging-centric handset that puts them back in control of their subscriber base they can brand the product and use the services to reduce churn," said Synchronica chief executive Carsten Brinkschulte in a statement.

"For subscribers, MessagePhone can become their first and primary internet device a great phone with a large screen and full internet access without breaking the bank, potentially replacing the trek to the internet cafe."