World’s first ‘newspaper’ phone launched

Sweden’s Dagens Nyheter said on Wednesday it had launched the world’s first “newspaper” telephone: a cellphone offering the daily’s subscribers direct and free access to its website.

“We want our readers to be able to follow the news, even when they’re in places where they cannot lay their hands on a paper or [access the internet on] a computer,” Thorbjoern Larsson, Dagens Nyheter (DN) editor-in-chief and publisher, said.

“This is yet another way of distributing the news,” he added.


DN subscribers can purchase the Nokia 6120 third-generation phone on the paper’s website, and by signing up for a 199-kronor ($31) monthly call plan, can freely surf the daily’s website by simply hitting a special “DN” button.

Larsson said the offer was already proving popular.

“After we announced the launch this morning [Wednesday], we received so many calls that our switchboard broke down. There’s a lot of interest out there,” he said.

While Sweden is generally considered technologically advanced, DN says the Scandinavian nation lies far behind countries like Japan and South Korea when it comes to the number of people who use cellphones to surf the internet.

“Many people [in Sweden] think it’s complicated [to surf the internet surf on their cellphones] and they don’t know how much it costs,” the paper’s head of marketing, Johan Othelius, told DN.

“Now we’re removing that obstacle,” he added. — AFP

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