Using A Text Message Lookup in the Middle East and Emerging Markets
By Barbara Bryant, social media manager
Customer Joe Mateuz recently wrote “Used your service on a trip to the U.S. Loved it! Please bring your services to the Middle East – Qatar. Many of us just use feature phones.”
A feature phone, or dumb phone, is a mobile phone that has minimal features but lacks the advanced functionality of a smartphone. Feature phones are often used as a lower-cost alternative to smartphones, especially in emerging markets.
Many people prefer feature phones. For instance, over half of Japanese smartphone users still carry a feature phone. In the U.S. some people favor feature phones for the sake of simplicity. Less is more.
But why did Joe turn to Text Engine? Joe visited the U.S. from Qatar. Like other travelers, he racked up thousands of dollars in data roaming fees. Domestic roaming is usually free. International roaming is the one that sneaks up on many people.
With Text Engine, Joe discovered he could access the internet almost anywhere in the world without using his costly data plan.
Qatar, a peninsular Arab country comprised of arid desert, is one of many countries where low-cost alternatives to expensive data plans make sense. Research shows that a large proportion of cell-phone users in emerging market countries such as Qatar use feature phones regularly.
States Eric Bryant, founder of Text Engine, “We launched in South Africa and the Philipines this year. Both are considered first-tier emerging markets and both have about 50% dumbphones. We will look at the logistics of launching in the Middle East.”