By Andrew Liszewski
In an attempt to make getting online as easy and affordable as possible for people living in emerging markets, Vodafone has created the Webbox, which is an all-in-one, plug-and-play keyboard computer. As you can see it’s completely lacking a display of any kind, and that’s because it’s designed to plug into any television using its built-in A/V cable, kind of like a modern version of the Commodore 64. And by taking the display costs out of the equation, the Webbox, which is now available in India (it was originally launched in South Africa) only costs around 5800 Rupees, or about $130.
Internet access is provided by a Vodafone SIM card supporting 2.5G and EDGE data networks, and according to TheNextWeb, the cost of the device includes 12GB of data usage. (We’re assuming that’s not monthly.) In addition to browsing the web using the Opera mini browser which minimizes the data load, the Webbox also includes apps for checking email, text messaging, an FM radio, a photo album, a music player, calculator, calendar, games and even a basic text editor. A built-in microSD card slot presumably serves as the devices main storage, which is handy because whatever’s not stored in ‘the cloud’ can be easily shared, in theory, by swapping microSD cards with other Webboxes.