Cheap Android smartphones will dominate developing markets: report

Yet, researchers warn about competition from other mobile operating systems that might have waned in the U.S., but still have a strong presence abroad.
Written by Rachel King, Contributor

Android has a strong hold over the U.S. mobile phone market share, but it has the potential to dominate international markets in another way.

By 2015, lower-cost Android smartphones are expected to account for 80 percent of the markets in emerging areas such as Africa and India, along with China, according to a new report from NPD In-Stat.

NPD research director Allen Nogee explained in the report that just as Google has surged in both the U.S. and global smartphone market shares, lower-cost Android smartphones will do the same.

Nogee cautioned, however, about competition from other mobile operating systems that might have waned in the U.S. (i.e. Nokia), but still have a strong presence abroad:

Samsung has bada, and Nokia is developing Meltemi. In addition, Microsoft has stated that it wants to sell Windows Phone in these developing regions as well and could aggressively lower prices to gain market share. While Google profits in these regions from advertising revenue, Nokia and Samsung benefit the old-fashioned way, by selling hardware.

As shipments for cheaper Android handsets are expected to reach 340 million worldwide in three years, most of these devices will likely be running on Android 2.2 (Froyo) or 2.3 (Gingerbread) with single-core EDGE chips.

Thus, the devices should be priced at $150 or less, with most devices being produced from the likes of Huawei, MicroMax, Motorola, Samsung, Spice, and ZTE.

Although, this might not be entirely great for Google. Researchers still expect that the proliferation of low-cost Android smartphones will only increase the existing fragmentation for the platform.


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