By Mark Davison in San Francisco – With the launch of the Obi Worldphone SF1 and SJ1.5, the company has set the cat among the pigeons in the smartphone world with devices offering the features of a $700 smartphone, but at a price point of $199.
So just how do they do it? Quite simple, says John Sculley, ex-CEO of Apple and now head of Obi Worldphone: They’ve learned from the masters … Apple itself.
The majority of Obi Worldphone’s executive leadership and design team have all worked at Apple.
“The secret behind us reaching this price point for the various high-quality features is our experience at Apple,” Sculley explains. “When we were building the Macintosh, Apple was not really as much of a technology company as people thought. We partnered with a lot of other technology companies to make quality components for us and, in turn, Apple extended clever marketing trade-offs.
“It was a great skill we had in the early days,” he adds. “These experiences have been carried forward and, as Rob (Brunner) has designed the Obi Worldphone range, we have built up relationships with quality manufacturers in various fields.”
The sound quality of the new devices – provided by Dolby – is a prime example of this, he says.
“They have worked with us and, together, we’ve figured out how to optimise the sound,” Sculley says. “You actually don’t have to spend a lot of money on hardware to get great sound because Dolby knows how to do it.
“In making these trade-offs, there is a very high level of trust and the entire team knows that it will be involved in decisions at the top and decisions at the bottom.”