Orange France and BIC have announced the launch of a new ready to use, EUR49 (USD77) mobile phone that comes complete with 60 free minutes of calls. The pay-as-you-go phone, which will be sold through a network of major supermarkets and local convenience stores (tobacco shops, newsstands, train stations, airports etc), will be available from August and will come with a pre-paid ‘mobicarte’ refill card. Orange and BIC say the easy to use BIC phone focuses on cell phone basics: sending and receiving calls and SMS. Available in citrus orange and lime green, with innovative packaging, the BIC phone will appeal to consumers who like no-frills, pay-as-you-go products. It also meets specific phoning requirements, serving as a back-up phone if needed. The two companies are keen to distance the BIC phone from being tagged as ‘disposable’, saying Orange hopes to enlarge its subscriber base by appealing to certain demographic groups, such as older people, who are hesitant about using mobile technology.