Chances are you've owned a "free" phone at some point or another, a beater that cost zero-down with your contract. That's still nothing compared to this $12 off-contract "Gongkai Phone" you can pick up from the Mingtong Digital Mall. But what is in one of those? Not much.
The folks over at Bunnie's Blog picked up one of the suckers and opened it up in what might be the most budget teardown in history. Inside the snap-together plastic case, there was a 32-bit, 260 MHz processor, 8MB of RAM, a two-color OLED, and of course, a battery. But it's not just the quality of components used to save a buck, they're almost all soldered directly to the board as another cost-saving shortcut.
But clearly, a beater phone this spare isn't likely to be your primary device; it's a backup that, for some reason or another, needs to be dispensable. And for $12, that's not a bad deal. You can hop over to bunnie's blog for even more details on these remarkably cheap guts. [Bunnie's Blog via Slashgear]