Power Shift: Sub-$150 Smartphones the New Norm by 2017



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Less than 150 bucks subsidized or unsubsidized?



unsubsidized and comes locked to carriers that charge 100$ a month min. welcome to the wonderful world of telecom



5% price drop/year? Big whoop.



I'm not sure how this of an effect this will have on unsubsidized phones. I think it's a bit ridiculous that I can buy a Google Nexus 7 with a quad core cpu, Nvidia Tegra 3 graphics, and a 7 inch HD resolution screen for $199 while a phone like the GS3 (non-contract) costs $600+. Hopefully Google's pricing strategy with the Nexus 4 helps reduce this price gouging that has been going on for years.



I agree that it is ridiculous that many unsubsidized phones retail for as much as, if not more than, an iPad3, despite being inferior in many ways. And not made by Apple ;)



miniaturization is always costly until economically efficient and technically stable manufacturing processes' native scale, lithography, precision, cost etc. "catch up" to current market demand and business need

btw, vrmlbasic, you make some very fine points below and on other new, recent articles
thank you for being a voice of reason and getting a lot of my work done for me sir!



For the price of a new phone to go down, that'll be nice but I doubt it because if there is something everyone can count on and that is Greed.



Yes, greed from the government. The phone companies have to pay their onerous and ever-increasing taxes/fees before they can even think about profit.

At least I see improvement when I buy a more expensive phone. My taxes go up and I'm seeing conditions of public property and services degrade. Eternally mystifying, and I'm sure that companies see it too.



"The phone companies have to pay their onerous and ever-increasing taxes/fees before they can even think about profit."

Haha. You haven't looked at your bill lately, have you? All those fees and taxes the government sadle on phone companies get put on your bill. You're the one paying them.

As for profit, don't worry about those phone companies. They are doing just fine. A quick search on google shows Verizon and AT&T bringing in boat-loads of revenue and making nice profits.

"Yes, greed from the government."
While this is debatable, the first lesson of capitalism is to do what is best for yourself. Don't waste you time going to bat for some company and being concerned how much they are paying in taxes. They can do that themselves. Worry about your own situation first.



for every cent added to your bill in tax, they easily pay over three times that much (not counting certain states having additional taxes, fees)

...and when you next wonder why cell plans are so expensive or bgroadband adoption is too slow then remember your statement about cellular providers' profits first

he and I are worrying about ourselves; what's good for american business and american infrastructure is always ultimately better for americans and america (...and by extension the whole world)



Some people just love to have bleeding edge technology. The are preyed upon by the advertising machine -and they love it!
It takes all kinds to make this world go around.
I ain't gonna be a part of that though.



I'm not sure it's a drive for bleeding-edge technology as Apple's iPhones have a huge following yet are far from bleeding-edge tech when compared to competing devices.



I'm not sure I see the value proposition of things like the GS3. Sure, they're the best devices available right now, but I'm getting 95% of the experience with my Sony Xperia Ion. In fact, aside from the (still quite potent) S3 SoC, lack of Bluetooth 4.0 (it has 2.1+EDR) and slightly smaller screen, there are no real drawbacks in a direct comparison.

Mine's also built better and has a better image sensor (although its debatable if the end picture is actually any better). The biggest difference is that the GS3 costs $200, while mine cost $0.01 on Amazon. Amazon now also has the HTC One X available for the same penny, and that device is only half a step behind the GS3 and is better than an iphone 5.

Aside from wanting the absolute best asap, there's really no reason I can see to spend $200 on a phone that'll be free in 6 months when you can get a phone that was $200 six months ago for free now.



Remember that some of that value does come in with build quality. Right now I'm rocking a generation 1 HTC Droid Incredible. It has an 8 mp camera, an Amoled display, and a half a gig of Ram, which for 3 years ago when it was built was the bleeding edge.

The phone still runs like a champion because it was built very well, well sealed against the environment, and well cared for.

There is a slightly newer "incentivized" version of the same phone out there. It's been dumbed down from an AMOLED screen to a traditional LCD, its camera is still 8 mp, but respondes much slower, and the ram, while still 512 mb, is also slower on access because of a different SoC chip.

Guess which one is likely to still be in a shape to be resaleable or extended useable after three years?

Look at the HTC One as well. There are various "trim levels" of the same phone out there. The expensive configurations such as the One X or S, and there are bargin "incentivized" One's with weaker cameras, weaker SoCs, and some which may even use thinner or stiffer plastic or smaller screens to achieve a price point.

The point being, the apex type phones, the Nexus, the GS3, the One X, are built to last, where the bargin phones available for $50-$150 on contract may not even survive their contract period.

Yeah, that's not all of the value back, but it's nto to be written off either.



You can't see a value proposition because there is no inherent value.

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