Obi Mobiles, the new kid on the smartphone block, was launched by co-founder and former Apple CEO John Sculley in Singapore on Thursday as part of the brand's global rollout.
With devices priced between $70 and $200, Obi aims to capture a market ignored by Apple, but served by several low-cost Chinese manufactures including Xiaomi and Lenovo: youth in emerging markets.
While the Android-powered handsets, which are made in China, offer similar specifications to other budget phones available in the market, Sculley says Obi will differentiate through distinctive design, branding and an extensive distribution network globally.
Obi Mobiles has recruited several Apple alumni for its design and marketing teams including Robert Brunner – the former director of industrial design at Apple and chief designer behind Beats Electronics.
"We are very focused on the younger (13 to 24 year old) consumers - many may aspire to an iPhone because it's a beautiful product, but they may not have hundreds of dollars," Sculley said.
To address needs of the youth, top-quality audio and extended battery life will be key features of Obi devices, he said.