Former Apple CEO John Sculley Obi is back, this time offering two mid-tier smartphones in anticipation from the next billion people looking to move up from low-end handsets -- that's the number of people expected to migrate from low-end "feature phones" to mid-tier handsets over the next three years.
As established economies lose interest in RAM and resolution and look towards virtual reality and cloud-based virtualization, Sculley and Obi Worldphone wants to replace feature phones, those built around one or two basic features, with fully featured smartphone.
"The smartphone market is dominated by brands at the premium end of the market, selling phones anywhere from $400 to over a $1,000, in markets like Brazil," said Sculley. "In the lower end of the market, you can buy a smartphone for $40, from a street vendor in Indonesia, and it may work for a couple months ... or not."
The two latest offerings from Obi Worldphone seek to fit firmly between the premium and entry tiers of the smartphone market, do so at prices that rival the low end of the segment. The pair of Android Lollipop phones are branded the Obi Worldphone SF1 and SJ1.5 .
The 4G LTE Obi Worldphone SF1 will be priced at $200 and the 3G SJ1.5 will cost $129 when the two handset launch this October. Both smartphones have 5 inch displays. But the SF1 is at full HD, 1080p, and the SJ1.5 outputs a 720p resolution.
Other differences between the two handset include their screens. The SF1 has a "floating" display that's protected by Gorilla Glass 4, while the standard screen on the SJ1.5 is shielded by Gorilla Glass 3.
Both handsets have 5 MP image processors on their faces. But the SF1 has a 13 MP camera on its back, while the cheaper SJ1.5 is fitted with a 8 MP shooter on its backside.
As for storage, both handset start with 16 GB of space. The SF1 will also have a 32 GB variant. The SJ1.5 will have 1 GB of RAM, the 16 GB SF1 will have 2 GB and the 32 GB SF1 will have 3 GB.
And lastly, the SF1 will rock a octo-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and the SJ1.5 will roll with a quad-core MediaTek CPU.
"Everyone thinks the industry is crowded, no one can make money," Sculley said. "All of a sudden someone comes in [and disrupts the market.]"