THROW AWAY CELL PHONES ARE HERE

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — Telespree Communications, a California company, has developed a partly disposable cell phone.

The Telespree phone features an “AirClip,” a disposable clip-on device which monitors the prepaid airtime remaining on the battery. Once all the time and battery life is used up, the device is disposed of and the handset is reused.

The AirClips will be sold in 60-, 90- and 120-minute packages at convenient locations, such as drug stores, supermarkets, and truck stops.

“Like the razor blade in a razor, the AirClips can be changed. That is the only truly disposable part of the phone,” Telespree chief executive Alon Segal says.

The phones have only two buttons and use voice-recognition technology: to make a call, the user simply presses the on/off button and says the number.

The retail price is about US$30 for the battery pack.

The company plans to introduce the phone in the U.S. sometime this year.

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