Over a year and a half after it was first revealed, Modu will start selling in what is referred to as a "Soft Launch". There is not going to be any ad campaign, and the phone will only be sold to select customers through a web site. The lucky few who are going to get the Modu experience were identified by the carrier as "technology oriented" (Is there going to be a test for that?) and will be asked to fill long feedback forms.
Modu is expected to sell for NIS500 (Around $130) with one basic jacket (with a few color choices), but if you agree to fill all the feedback forms, you'll get a full refund for that.
Founder Dov Moran is projecting sales of only a few thousand devices in Israel, as Modu supports 2.5G data communication while Israel is a "dominant 3rd generation market".
So why, Mr. Moran, didn't you come up with a 3G device?
"A 3rd generation phone is more sophisticated but also more expensive. Don't forget that billions of people are still using 2nd-gen devices and a lot of them don't need much more. People just want a small, light device that's easy to dial and send text messages. If you want an Iphone with a camera that makes coffee and can transform into a kite, and you're ready to pay thousands of Shekels for it – well, you have a big choice to pick from" (But that said, Modu is already working on a 3G device, expected to come out in a year).
All this low-key talk makes us suspect that Modu is trying very hard to lower our expectations, and maybe for a good reason. We have until wednesday to think about it. We hope by then we can figure how to turn our Iphone into a kite.