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The Android OS has taken the smartphone world by storm. In just two years, Android has become the top smartphone OS worldwide. In the US, Android reached #1 in smartphone OS sales because wireless operators that did not carry Apple iPhone chose Android as their smartphone solution. Now, Android is on-track to address the emerging markets.

The Android handsets that are selling well in the U.S. and Europe are not the same low-cost Android handsets selling elsewhere in the world. New In-Stat research forecasts that low-cost Android handsets will reach a penetration rate of 80% of total smartphones in Africa, India, and China by 2015.

"All-in-all, the way that Android has spread worldwide, low-cost Android will also spread worldwide. But, where most Android phones are being sold in developed regions of the world, low-cost Android will flourish in emerging areas; however, it will face heavy competition in some regions,” says Allen Nogee, a research director at In-Stat.

The low-cost Android smartphone segment is comprised primarily of smartphones released with Android 2.2 or 2.3, since these versions are a good blend of features with modest memory and processor usage. The low-end low-cost smartphones generally stick with EDGE and processors running at 600MHz or lower, because a single-core EDGE chip sells for well under $10. For our purposes, low-cost means smartphones that are $150 or less. Smaller phone manufacturers will sometimes purchase from the “gray market” where component manufacturers typically don't pay licensing fees, royalties, or taxes for the products they produce. Early competitors in the market include Huawei, MicroMax, Motorola, Samsung, Spice, and ZTE.

“Samsung has bada, and Nokia is developing Meltemi. In addition, Microsoft has stated that it wants to sell Windows Phone in these developing regions as well and could aggressively lower prices  to gain market share. While Google profits in these regions from advertising revenue, Nokia and Samsung benefit the old-fashioned way, by selling hardware,” added Mr. Nogee.

According to In-Stat, unit shipments for low-cost Android smartphones will approach 340 million worldwide in 2015. The low-cost Android handset segment will cause some fragmentation in the Android platform, but this is not considered as a major drawback by manufacturers of inexpensive handsets.

Tags: Android, Huawei, MicroMax, Motorola, Samsung, Spice, ZTE

Discussion

Comments currently: 9
Discussion started: 02/20/12 05:18:13 PM
Latest comment: 07/17/14 08:10:43 AM
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1. 
ARM Mobile CPU's, memory and flash storage is so cheap these days that these phones can be priced well under $100 including the supplier, store and tax costs... when on sale ive seen these low cost android phones for as little as $39AU .. full touch screen android 2.3 phone.. the only problem i see is the E-waste from all these devices when people upgrade.
0 0 [Posted by: vid_ghost  | Date: 02/20/12 05:18:13 PM]
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2. 
I'm from Africa (Egypt) and I know it will take years for that to happen

most people I know use non-touch mobile phones and most wouldn't spend more than 20 USD on a phone

analysts know nothing
1 1 [Posted by: madooo12  | Date: 02/20/12 05:57:59 PM]
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- collapse thread

 
Huawei IDEOS X1 Android Prepaid Mobile Phone - $51.35AU (Australian Dollars)

Its getting close to the $20US price
0 0 [Posted by: vid_ghost  | Date: 02/20/12 07:18:37 PM]
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if they get close to the 30 $ price I think many will buy it, but some will still prefer more durable and higher quality phones even with less features

and some won't use mobiles at all
0 1 [Posted by: madooo12  | Date: 02/20/12 09:35:10 PM]
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$1-00 US = $A1-08.
Minimum wage in Aust. is over $14-00 US per hour. Unemployment 5% ,the poor relies are in the US not the rest of the world.
0 0 [Posted by: tedstoy  | Date: 02/20/12 10:50:54 PM]
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3. 
These are countries without electric power or copper phone lines, they are skipping a whole generation of of power and phone services. Going directly to low voltage power and only mobile and wireless connectivity. Maybe they will have green power etc before the north Atlantic countries.
With no legacy power and phones they will leap frog the so-called developed world.
0 0 [Posted by: tedstoy  | Date: 02/20/12 10:40:56 PM]
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- collapse thread

 
they said the market
i.e the people who buy mobile phones
0 1 [Posted by: madooo12  | Date: 02/21/12 12:29:33 AM]
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4. 
Oh yeah it will start strong, and then the cheap android phones will be used for soccer...
That's it, unless the majority of those people learn how to install Cyanogen mod on those phones.

(Because as one of the first idiots who got cheap android phone, LG GT540, I felt very well how shit a phone can be with all this crapware from the mother company, especially if it is cheap and low end...
Now I got CM7 but I want the phone to work properly out of the box, not risking to brick it.
I will never again get a cheap android, I will better get some dumbphone next time, if I can't afford a higher end smartphone)
1 0 [Posted by: nitro912gr  | Date: 02/22/12 08:41:55 AM]
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