Hop-On’s HOP1900 "Disposable" CDMA Phone. Real or not?

The talk about the disposable mobile phones has been around for quite a few years already. But nothing so far came from it. However, if current promotion by Hop-on has any substance, soon we may have one, called Hop1900, for real .

Touted as a “Disposable Cell Phone for Use on Verizon’s Open Network”, Hop1900 will be sold to distributors by Hop-On’s subsidiary Graffiti Wireless. You’ll be able to pick them up at various convenience stores for under $50.

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Full specs for Hop1900 include:

  • Size: 112 x 46 x 17 mm
  • Phone Book: 100 entries
  • Speed Dial: 90 locations
  • Bands: Tri-mode 1900MHz CDMA
  • Battery: Standard Li-Ion 720 mAh
  • Battery Life: Digital talk time 3 hours and standby time 240 hours
  • Ring Tones: 12
  • Antenna: Embedded
  • Graphic No LCD
  • AFLT: For compliance with FCC mandated E911
  • Call History: 20 missed, 20 incoming, and 10 outgoing
  • TTY Compatible: For the hearing impaired
  • Optional GPS Module: For location-based services
  • Multi Languages

While interesting concept, Hop1900 is not such a disposable phone. Unless you are used to throwing away $50 bills on a whim. The price does not seem to include any talk time and the phone itself can be charged multiple times.

Overall Hop1900 looks really nice and could be a good secondary,”just in case” phone or a handset to save on roaming costs while traveling. But the information and pictures available raises some questions:

  • It looks like Hop1900 has no display. How on earth am I supposed to see the numbers I enter, use the phone book or check “20 missed, 20 incoming, and 10 outgoing” calls without a display?!
  • And this separate 911 button? On the candybar phones I owned, I used to accidentally press various phone buttons several times a day. Sometimes I even accidentally dialed last or phonebook entry numbers, while keeping the phone in my pocket. I can see tons of accidental calls to emergency services through that “911” button at the top.
  • There’s no such thing as “Verizon Open Network” yet. Verizon’s network will become “open” only by the end of 2008 and the technical requirements for handsets to be allowed on it, will be published only sometime next year. How can someone already claim to have a handset for “Verizon’s open network” ?
  • Hop-On provides and impression that a shipment of Hop1900’s has “sold out in 15-20 Walgreens along the west in a mater of hours”. Who on earth bought them? For which network? How and at what rate did they pay for wireless service?

If these questions can be answered, Hop-On might have a rather cool device on it’s hands.

But for now it all sounds more like a “vaporware” then a real, well thought out product, ready for the market.

Or worse.

You see, it seems that Hop-On shares were listed on “pink sheets” (where a lot of suspect/low quality stocks trade) just this week.

For now, Hop1900 press release, as well as other recent Hop-on’s attempts to ride the wave of Verizon news, sounds more like an effort to propel a struggling stock price, then an announcement of a legitimate product.

Author: Stasys Bielinis

While I like to play with the latest gadgets, I am even more interested in broad technology trends. With mobile now taking over the world - following the latest technology news, looking for insights, sharing and discussing them with passionate audience - it's hard to imagine a better place for me to be. You can find me on Twitter as @UVStaska'

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