Low cost smartphone/ tablet is definitely the next big step. Keeping the performance while reducing the price of a multi-core ARM is no doubt one of the major vehicles. Cost of LCD, that of high capacity battery and all other additional chips that differentiate products will likely need to go down to make a $100 smartphone/ tablet a reality.
On the other hands, does the news mean smartphone maker can no longer enjoy the profit margin? I guess it is just a matter of time.
Seems to me that the cost barrier is the monthly charge, not the phone itself. I still haven't stepped up to a smartphone simply because I don't wanna add another $30-40 per month to my already ridiculously high verizon bill.
Only in US. You can get even 5 euro a month contracts in Europe with like 3000 minutes and 100 MB of data or such. I imagine in India and Africa they have even $2/month contracts.
As you can imagine they can't afford to do that much with data there, though, but they can use Wi-Fi if they have it. So the smartphone price is still the bottleneck. $100 quad-core Cortex A7 phones with Jelly Bean should be more than good enough for most people, performance wise. And it should also be possible to make them in 2013, depending on what other components they decide to use, too, and I'm sure it's possible to go even lower than that. There are already $50 Android smartphones in Africa.
Chip has it right. Carriers are a huge drag on wireless innovation in the US. They suck up money with minimal competition and drag their feet on modernizing infrastructure. I guess they find it more profitable to invest in lobbying for the status quo than moving forward.
Yes you're right. I pay about $7 a year in mobile phone bills in Thailand. For this price I obviously don't use data plan, and connect via Wi-Fi instead.
I'm always surprised to read $100 tablets and smartphones are the future, since in 2012 you could get a $60 7" android tablet with Cortex A8 or Cortex A9 processor, and for $75 you could get Android smartphones based on some of the Mediatek processors.
Always wondered why US phone contracts are so expensive. I mean I can get a 24 month contract with monthly 4GB LTE data + 300 min voice calls +~1000SMS for 45US$ in singapore along with a subsidized(around 300-400$ less) phone. IIRC similar contracts are 70-80$ in the US
It's not just developing countries that are cheaper than the US, it seems. In the UK my 100 minutes, 100 text, unlimited data contract costs me £15 a month (~$22) and came with a free smartphone (a Samsung Galaxy Apollo - a mid end Android job).
Its not the cost of the HW.
Heck, i still dont have a cell phone, dumb or smart.
600+$ / yr is ridiculous!
I refuse to have two phones, plus
when I m visiting people, its rude to be interrupted any way.
Yes, I m a luddite.
I dont do cable TV either.
Broadcast is where its at.
$100 tablets and smart phones can't be that far off and would have a big impact on the nature of society in what remain some of the disconnected parts of the world. There would be big opportunities for rapid advancement in education, health care and economies. Also, political agitation. disruption and upheaval. Charlie Babcock, InformationWeek
I've been listening for years about laptops for $100 (for Africa, Asia... etc...), then for similarly cheap net-books, then phones, and now for some time the same fairy-tales for tablets.
During last 15 years I've probably heard minimum 100 times someone announced that cheap ___put_here_whatever_popular_computing_device__ is knocking at the door.
And it never happened.
It won't happen this time either.
3-4 years ago, one of my colleague actually bought $100 PC for interest. We were surprised how useless it was!
Some people make things cheap will open up a huge market opportunity, but the product must have practical usefulness. Q-core cortexA7 + 1080p video support sounds reasonable, but if it comes with cheap low-resolution LCD plus terrible precision touch screen, the product will be much more useless than purpose-built feature phone.