On the one hand folks are talking about $25 smartphones running FLOSS and on the other hand folks say it’s not possible.“Spreadtrum has announced WCDMA and EDGE turnkey reference designs for Firefox OS as well as the industryâ€™s first chipset for US$25 smartphones, the SC6821, that redefines the entry level for smartphones in key growth markets. These solutions are already creating a stir, with global operators such as Telenor, Telkomsel and Indosat, and ecosystem partners such as Polytron, T2Mobile and Thundersoft expressing interest.” Whom are you going to believe? The old guard or the young dogs that are going to do the work?
“Lin explained that currently, the absolute lowest smartphone BOM in China is estimated to be around US$22 (and most are significantly more than that) and that manufacturing costs are highly unlikely to go below US$20 this year, which would be the cost needed to deliver a US$25 smartphone to end users. The cost would need to get to US$15-20 FOB in order to get a selling price of US$25, Lin said.”I think that if this is impossible today, someone will make it possible during 2014. After all, the big dogs have a lock on high-priced smartphones and they can’t touch a little mouse scurrying around in the grass making $25 smartphones. That leaves a huge emerging market with perhaps hundreds of millions of smartphones to be sold. The little guys are not going to turn down an opportunity to avoid deadly competition. They’ll gladly settle for stiff competition. Let them go at it.