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Obi Worldphone, previously Obi Mobiles, is a Silicon Valley smartphone manufacturer founded in 2014 by former Apple CEO John Sculley.[1] Obi Worldphone manufactures smartphones aimed at the emerging markets[2] rather than very competitive developed markets.[3][4] The company is believed to have ceased operations in 2017.[1]


The company was launched as Obi Mobiles in 2014. Sculley saw a gap in the market for well-designed budget handsets and got in contact with former Director of Industrial Design, Robert Brunner (now a co-founder of Ammunition Design Group) who came up with the raised screen design found on all Obi smartphones.[5] Ammunition subsequently designed the chassis and operating system skin the phones run on, "Obi Lifespeed".[6]

Obi Mobiles started operations in India in July 2014. Following an unsuccessful launch, the company withdrew from India at the beginning of 2015 (with plans re-entering at the end of the year) and relaunched the brand as Obi Worldphone shortly after.[7]

The newly branded company launched two of their pioneer low cost smartphones on August 27, 2015.[8] Both models are based upon Android as their operating system.[8] Their third phone, the MV1, was announced in February 2016, and was released to Asian, African, Latin American and European markets in March 2016.[9][10]

In July 2015, Obi had a 5.7% smartphone market share in the UAE, making it the company's strongest global market.[7]

In September 2017, Sculley distanced himself from Obi and said that his name was used for PR only.[1]



Launched on August 27, 2015, this phone with a raised 5-inch touchscreen display with a resolution of 1080 pixels by 1920 pixels at a PPI of 443 pixels per inch (PPI).[11] The phone comes with a self-developed fork of the Android Operating System called "Obi Lifespeed".[6][12] The device also features Dolby Audio multi-channel audio, noise cancellation, and utilizes a Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 processor, an Adreno 405 GPU, and a 3000 mAh battery. It can access 4G networks. The device comes in 32GB + 3GB / 16GB + 2GB (respectively Storage and RAM) combinations,[12] and a choice of black or white. The initial retail price for the device is $199 and comes unlocked.[13]


This device was launched at the same time as the SF1, and also has a 5-inch touchscreen display, however a lower resolution, lack of 4G, and lack of some luxuries lends this phone a cheaper $129 retail price.[13] The device is all plastics in a range of colors and comes with 16GB of storage and a 3,000 milliamps battery.[14][15] Both the SF1 and SJ1.5 feature a dual SIM tray.[15]


The MV1 has a 5” Gorilla Glass 3 display with 1280 x 720 (HD) resolution, it runs on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 212 processor, 2GB of RAM, and 16 GB of Storage. It features a dual SIM tray.


In 2015, Obi Worldphone's SF1 was voted the 5th best smartphone available in Vietnam in VNExpress' "TechAwards 2015" (Sản phẩm Công nghệ xuất sắc 2015).[16][17][18]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Kurup, Rajesh (2017-09-18, updated 2018-01-10). Trouble brews for Obi Mobiles, company ‘founded’ by former Apple CEO John Sculley (en).
  2. Former Apple CEO John Sculley-backed Obi Worldphone launches sleek sub-$250 smartphones. (2015-08-27). Retrieved on 2015-08-27.
  3. Bajarin, Tim (2015-08-31). Apple’s Former CEO Built a Very Impressive Cheap New Phone. Time Inc.. Retrieved on 2015-09-02.
  4. Goldman, David (August 27, 2015). Former Apple CEO John Sculley debuts new smartphone. CNN. Retrieved on September 2, 2015.
  5. Pearce, James (2016-05-09). Former Apple execs aim to fill "gap in market" with Obi WorldPhone. Mobile News CWP. Retrieved on 2016-05-23.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Beautifully designed smartphones for the world’s fastest growing markets. Retrieved on 2016-04-29.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Aulakh, Gulveen. "After initial India failure, Obi relaunches itself as Obi Worldphone", The Economic Times, 2015-08-27. 
  8. 8.0 8.1 Curry, David (2015-08-26). Former Apple CEO John Sculley launches two low-cost Android Smartphones. Digital Trends. Retrieved on 2015-08-31.
  9. Obi Worldphone MV1 detailed specifications. Retrieved on 2016-05-23.
  10. Tung, Liam (2016-02-23). Ex-Apple CEO's Obi Worldphone launches $149 Android MV1 smartphone. ZDNet. Retrieved on 2016-05-23.
  11. Obi Worldphone SF1 detailed specifications. Retrieved on 2016-04-29.
  12. 12.0 12.1 SF1. Obi Worldphone. Retrieved on 2016-04-29.
  13. 13.0 13.1 Brownlee, John (2015-08-26). How Ammunition And Apple's Ex-CEO Plan To Disrupt The "Design Center" Of The Smartphone World. Co.Design. Retrieved on 2016-04-29.
  14. Goldman, David (2015-08-27). Former Apple CEO John Sculley debuts new smartphone.
  15. 15.0 15.1 UK, Lucy England, Business Insider. Former Apple CEO John Sculley just launched a new line of cheap Android smartphones.
  16. Obi Worldphone vào top 5 điện thoại tốt nhất 2015. VnExpress (2016-01-14). Retrieved on 2016-05-12.
  17. Top 5 điện thoại xuất sắc của Tech Awards 2015. VnExpress (2016-01-13). Retrieved on 2016-05-12.
  18. Obi Worldphone - OBI WORLDPHONE SF1 VINH DANH TOP 5 TECH AWARDS 2015 HẠNG MỤC ĐIỆN THOẠI. Obi Worldphone (2016-01-12). Retrieved on 2016-05-12.

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