Feature phones, also known as the predecessors to smartphones, are packed with far less features than their more expensive counterparts. Internet connectivity, for example, has always been a problem on feature phones, at least where mobile data is concerned. Qualcomm’s new chipset will change all of this, which can benefit cryptocurrency adoption as well. These “dumb” phones are becoming a lot smarter thanks to this change.
Qualcomm Changes The Feature Phone Game
Emerging nations often see a lot of consumers switching to mobile devices. While smartphones have become very common in the Western world, feature phones are still the primary choice in Africa and Asia. One thing these devices severely lack is how there is no convenient option to use mobile data. For payment services looking to gain traction in these developing regions, that has always been a major drawback.
That situation will come to change, thanks to popular chip maker Qualcomm. The company has revealed their 205 chipset which effectively brings 4G LTE connectivity to feature phones. This is a significant step in the right direction to connect more people to the internet. Moreover, it also bodes well for payment service providers looking to make a name for themselves in developing regions
Feature phones are far more durable than their smartphone counterparts. These devices’ battery also lasts a couple of days, rather than mere hours. It has always been possible to use mobile data on a feature phone in the past – depending on your region – although no one enjoyed WAP connectivity by any means. By introducing 4G LTE connectivity, that issue is eliminated entirely and will make feature phones look more appealing than before.
While smartphones will still remain more popular than featured phones in most regions, the “dumber” devices should not be discounted by any means. With nearly half of the phones being feature phones in India, South Africa, and Vietnam, it is evident there is still a large market waiting to be tapped. It is also worth noting these emerging markets are actively building the infrastructure for 4G support moving forward.
Financial service providers may want to take notice of this new chipset by Qualcomm, as it is worth a great value to them. Cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin may see more adoption in emerging market as these 4G LTE-capable chips are rolled out on a large scale. After all, using the bitcoin network requires an internet connection to broadcast transactions. Installing applications on feature phones is a different matter, though.
This news may spur developers to build bitcoin-oriented solutions for 4G-capable feature phones moving forward. Qualcomm is one of the world’s largest chipset manufacturers, and it is only a matter of time until their 205 chips can be found in commonly available feature phones. An interesting future awaits, that much is certain.
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