The race to the bottom isn’t always a bad thing, especially when it saves consumers hundreds of dollars. Covering ARM’s Tech Day, AnandTech has shared some interesting data which posits that the first $20 smartphone could be available to purchase within the next few months. A $25 Firefox OS smartphone has already been shown off, and ARM believes that a $20 1x Cortex-A5 2.5G Android smartphone is soon to follow.
As the market for high-end devices becomes increasingly saturated, phone makers will be looking to expand their reach into new segments, especially among entry levels consumers. Motorola had a great deal of success with the Moto G — the company will capitalize on “the best bargain of 2014” with the release of the Moto E later this year. Before being swallowed by Microsoft, Nokia launched its own entry-level offering, the Nokia X. These devices might not become the new standard in developed markets, but there’s certainly an audience for them around the world.
As long as these ultra-affordable smartphones are capable of basic operations, the price will be one of the leading factors determining which phone a consumer chooses.
According to ARM, manufacturing costs are the only thing preventing the potential sales price from dipping even further. By 2018, ARM expects entry-level smartphone shipments to rise to over 1 billion, doubling the shipments from 2013.