Budget Android handsets are poised to takeoff in 2011, a new report from Digitimes suggests. The firm states that it expects 20 million to 25 million entry-level Android handsets – defined as devices priced below $150 – will be sold globally in 2011. That figure is up from the 2.5 million to 3 million that were sold in 2010. Digitimes suggests that chips designed in China and Taiwan will drive white box OEMs to create budget-conscious handsets that will be attractive in emerging markets. An estimated 10 million to 13 million of those handsets are expected to be sold in China alone. Digitimes is known for having a mixed track record, but we do know that Android handsets — such as LG’s Optimus — were priced in the $100 range on many U.S. carriers. Similarly, last night Boost Mobile announced its new $179.99 Samsung Galaxy Prevail handset, which will be an attractive option for prepaid buyers. More →
We’re here live at the Boost Mobile’s media event in New York City where the prepaid carrier just announced the Samsung Galaxy Prevail — its first CDMA Android powered smartphone. The Galaxy Prevail runs Android 2.2 (Froyo) and sports a 3.2-inch touchscreen display, 2 megapixel rear-facing camera, Bluetooth, and free subscription to Telenav for voice-guided turn-by-turn directions. During our initial hands-on, it was immediately clear that the Galaxy Prevail does not have the same hardware prowess as other Samsung devices with the Galaxy namesake. There’s no 4-inch Super AMOLED display, it’s incapable of recording 720p video, and it felt a bit sluggish navigating through menus and panning on web pages. That’s not necessarily a deal breaker, though, as the Galaxy Prevail is available for a very reasonable $179.99 contract-free. When used with Boost Mobile’s $50 all-you-can-eat smartphone plan — which includes unlimited talk, text, and web browsing — the deal gets even sweeter. It’s certainly a welcome addition to Boost’s portfolio, especially for those looking to save a few bucks without sacrificing all that a smartphone can offer, but certainly isn’t going to woo many (read: any) users away from their current Android handset.