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Mobile

Former Apple CEO announces new flagship smartphone for the developing world

John Sculley, who infamously fired Steve Jobs in 1985, has announced two sleek new handsets from his company, Obi Worldphone.

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Obi Worldphone's new SF1 flagship device. Obi Worldphone

Obi Worldphone, founded by former Apple CEO John Sculley, announced on Wednesday two brand new handsets -- the SF1 and the SJ1.5.

The sub-$250 Android devices look to carry out Obi Worldphone's mission statement of bringing premium-quality phones to the world's developing markets (namely Asia, Africa and the Middle East).

Sculley described the SF1 and SJ1.5 in a statement as "two high-quality, premium-designed smartphones priced at an exceptional value to attracting discerning young people in fast-growth markets in Asia, Africa and the Middle East."

The SF1, named after San Francisco, is a 4G/LTE smartphone equipped with a 5-inch, 1,920x1,080-resolution Gorilla Glass 4 display, a metal and fibreglass body, dual SIM card slots, a Snapdragon 615 processor and a 13-megapixel rear camera. It will come in two variations; a $199 model with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage and a $249 model decked out with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage.

Meanwhile, the 3G SJ1.5, a homage to San Jose, features more budget specs. It's powered by a MediaTek MT6580 Quad-Core processor and has a 5-inch HD Gorilla Glass 3 display, dual SIM slots and 16GB of internal storage with expandable memory.

The phones both look sleek, which can be chalked up to Ammunition, which also designed the Beats by Dre line of headphones. The two phones can be differentiated by the rubber detailing on the bottom of the SJ1.5.

Sculley is perhaps best remembered for his controversial decision to fire Steve Jobs from Apple in 1985, eight years before he himself was sacked as CEO.

The 76-year-old American businessman has since been active in the tech world as an investor and a founder, being involved with companies like Metro PCs, before establishing Obi in the hopes of building a smartphone for the billion people who are expected to enter the market in the coming years.

"Over the next three years one billion users will upgrade from low-end, starter smartphones to models with more power and greater functionality," said Tim Bajarin, president of market analyst and research firm Creative Strategies, Inc.