Ooredoo Myanmar has started selling a smartphone for MMK 30,000 (US $24.00), a price comparable to that of feature phones. “This is in line with our vision of making data more and more affordable for people,” said Ooredoo CEO Rene Meza. “In Yangon people will go out of their way to get … the latest iPhone, Samsung, HTC [device], but the country has 680,000 square kilometers, so life doesn’t end in Yangon,” he added. “There are a lot of pockets of the country where getting access to a US $1000.00 … phone is simply [impossible], and that is where we see this opportunity to drive these devices. It’s clearly a segmentation … This particular [phone] addresses the need of the middle and bottom of the pyramid.”
Contrary to our Austrian example, Myanmar’s mobile market is still very much a developing one. Much of the country, especially outside the capital, remains poor, and so Ooredoo has chosen a strategy aimed at encouraging data use and smartphone uptake among the multitudes of budget-minded citizens. As inexpensive smartphones become more widely available, data use becomes accessible to new demographics, and mobile operators in such markets should make it a priority to offer them at price points that are extremely attractive to customers who have not, to date, adopted data use.