However, Vodafone doesn't plan to offer the low-cost phones in any of its developed markets, according to the spokeswoman. "The focus now is on quickly helping bring communications to people in developing markets," she said.
Numerous other mobile phone operators and vendors have their sights set firmly on this segment.
On 3 May, Nokia launched seven mobile phones for emerging markets, including two intended for shared use by families or entire villages.
Texas Instruments is developing a broad range of chips for low-cost handsets aimed at developing countries. The company plays a big role in determining handset costs; it's the world's largest maker of the most expensive part of a mobile phone -- the chips that run them.