How to begin manufacturing phones/phone-like devices

I’m currently considering making a phone but its unclear who I would actually speak to about doing so, and how much it would cost. I’m looking to make a very low end device, and am hoping it will cost around $40 per unit at most. I’m wondering if anyone with experience in this area could point me in the right direction

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  1. Seriously…why? Unless your phone can toast bread, i don’t see the purpose of another cheap phone on the market. You need volume of scale to bring cost down. China is already making tons of cheap phones…there is no way you can beat them.

    Sorry if i have just throw cold water over your shoulder, but i honestly don’t think its a viable product.

  2. >I have not disclosed details of the idea, nor am I interested in doing so.

    Wise choice. Not in the way you intended however. Years and years ago someone posted an idea for a phone you could assemble from blocks. Called simply enough Phonebloks.

    He got his ass handed to him by Reddit. Self styled experts lambasted the guy. Then Motorola backed it. There are a lot of lessons to be found in this example, none of which involve undertaking the manufacturing process on your own.

    Now a note to the dipshits. I know the history. Don’t bother Rage Googling — the project was canceled. How and why aren’t really pertinent or on topic for this discussion.

    And yes, you are competing with billion dollar companies — and you had better upgrade your definition from competitive as synonym for derivative. This, just as well, means something completely different than what was intended by others posts here. And please don’t pull the “details” bullshit. It doesn’t work on me and only underscores the huge misconception about the word *competition and competitive viability.*

    *If you are not competing you’ll know because you can’t buy food or pay for utilities.* Or Wait … is it for transmitting and receiving thought waves?! Anyway, you probably don’t want to know the times people said “nothing like it on the market” stood up to a few seconds on a search engine hovers right around zero. I include people who bitched they searched and didn’t ~~want to~~ find.

    Who would be best may well depend on your secret details. Where you want to start is Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd. If they aren’t a good fit they should be able to direct you.

  3. Do you have the design (both electrical as well as mechanical)? If not, that is the place to start by reaching out to designers. You then have regulatory costs and testing which can be tens of thousands of dollars. You will have to then design software/firmware and then convince carriers to sell it.


    Margins on “feature phones” are very very slim and you are entering in a crowded space that will require hundreds of thousands of dollars in development costs before you even get a viable product. Billion dollar companies like Microsoft and Nokia have failed in this market.

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Looking for the startup that was posted here or in r/smallbusiness regarding execitive assistance/outsourcing based in the Philippines or somewhere nearby in SE Asia. Can you help me find that post/person? Thanks in advance!

I made an animated summary of “The $100 Startup” by Chris Guillebeau. I hope you can get some value from it.