Couple of days back, Steve P. Jobs unveiled the world’s first custom made series of touch screen phones, affectionately titled the AAIFONE (aaiFone). Targeted specifically at the Maharashtrians, this phone is the result of a recent collaboration between Apple (or SapharChand as its partners call it), RMNS Corp. and Shee Cena (wholly-owned subsidiary of Ball Tak Inc., Ulhasnagar)
The product was launched in a high profile press conference held in Bihar on Feb 14th. Steve P. Jobs appeared on a bullock cart wearing a Pheta with the aaiFone held high. He was accompanied by Aaj Phekrey (CEO, RMNS) and Uthake Phekrey (Chairman, Shee Cena) on either side. “This starts a new chapter in the history of touch screen phones”, said Steve. “I have always wanted to give something back to my fellow maharashtrians and this is my Valentine’s Day gift to them. I am and always have been one of them. For the uninformed, my middle name is Padgaonkar and not Paul as some people assume it to be. Mee pann ek Marathi manoos aahe”, confessed Steve in front of a massive three member audience.
aaiFone weighs a good 5 kilos and is sturdy, lathi-resistant, shock-proof, oil-proof, water-resistant and blood-proof. “It has been designed keeping the average activist in mind. We want people to use it during bandhs and rasta rokos and that’s reason we have made it this strong”, Aaj was quoted as having said. Encased in a violence-inducing orange, green and black metal case, this Phone is an internet-enabled multi-touch, multimedia masterpiece. Based on the Jijabyte chipset (named as a tribute to Shivaji), it has a virtual keyboard, touch sensitive buttons and 0.3 Megha-pixel (named after Steve’s daughter) camera. The initial models won’t have xenon flash or auto focus (though the consortium says that the later versions would have a North Indian focus!). But what truly makes it a portable must-have of the ordinary Marathi manoos is its software and interface. Apple’s proprietary software – Mac ki OS is at the heart of this phone. The default language of the phone would be Marathi (Devanagari being the only other option.) Mr. Uthake was quoted as having told the audience that they could have any other language on the phone as long as it was Marathi. The aaiFone would come pre-loaded with wallpapers and screensavers of Tigers, Shivaji maharaj, Vada pav, Arun gawli etc. The themes would have a distinct orange, blue and green tint to them. Famous Marathi tunes such as the Nashik dhol, Dhagala lagli kalla and Jai Jai Maharashtra mazhaa would be included as a standard set in the cell’s multimedia gallery. In terms of connectivity, the phone would have an inbuilt browser called Swarajya and files could be exchanged wirelessly using proprietary software NeelDantha.
For promotional activities, they have tied up with actors Shreyas Talpade & Mohan Joshi. The advertising would be handled by Bhen & Mather Pvt Ltd. An ‘apple-eating tiger’ is the proposed logo and the propossed ad jingle is – Tujhya aai cha, Mazhaa aai cha, Saglyancha aai cha aavadta AAIFONE.
The consortium has vowed to make this phone available ONLY to real Maharashtrians. After a careful screening process (to be done by company activists and not network providers), only the TRUE marathis would be able to lay their hands on this baby!