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This article was published on July 22, 2008

    BIC: from stationery icon to mobile phone company

    BIC: from stationery icon to mobile phone company
    Robin Wauters
    Story by

    Robin Wauters

    Robin Wauters is the European Editor of The Next Web. He describes himself as a hopeless cyberflâneur, a lover of startups, his family a Robin Wauters is the European Editor of The Next Web. He describes himself as a hopeless cyberflâneur, a lover of startups, his family and Belgian beer. If you'd like to know more about Robin, head on over to robinwauters.com or follow him on Twitter.

    In case you haven’t read this elsewhere (I haven’t, but the press release is dated 11 July): BIC, the French company whose name will infinitely be linked to ballpoint pens – in fact, in Belgium, Greece and France, the name has even become downright generic – has set up a partnership with Orange and Alacatel to market a basic mobile phone aptly named the BIC Phone. Who needs further proof that cellphones are now nothing more than a commodity?

    Presented as a basic handset that’s “100% ready-to-go,” the BIC phone comes packed just like one of its razors and includes a SIM card, 60 free minutes and a fully-charged battery. This makes the new handset ready to be used right after you buy it, hence it could be a perfect secondary or emergency phone. Built by Alcatel, the BIC phone measures 98 x 44 x 12.6 millimeters, weighs only 61 grams and has a battery capable of providing up to 4 hours of talk-time and up to 240 hours of stand-by time.

    As from August 7, the BIC phone will become available across France in two colors (citrus orange and lime green) for a retail price of 49 Euros (about $77 USD), including tax. The handset will be sold over the counter in supermarkets, as well as in convenience stores, like tobacco shops or stores from train stations and airports.