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.
$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
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.
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.
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.