While smartphones may be the future in developed countries, I don't see them having viral growth in the developing countries unless the price drops to below $100. The market for cellphones in developing countries is a huge one and companies can't abandon this sector. While the margin on the low-priced phones may not be much, the volume sold makes it a considerably profitable market. I don't think leading cellphone manufacturers can abandon the production of low-priced feature phones completely.
@Barbara, I qualify for cave woman. I use my phone, toss it back in the bag and wait for the next time it might be needed. I don't have overage, roaming and data charges. I don't surf the web on the phone, texting is limited to about 20 maximum per month and I've never bought a ringtone online -- I wouldn't know how to do it. I don't take pictures with my phone or listen to music on it. Needless to say, my phone isn't a smartphone. But does that mean I am immune to technology. Oh no. I like the iPad and play with it everytime we have a family trip to BestBuy. But do I need it? No. Will I buy one? Nah
@Barbara, I have a standard feature phone ($29 and no contract from Best Buy), which I bought to replace a previous phone after resisting efforts by my service provider to buy a new smartphone. I simply bought a Pay-as-you-go phone from the same carrier and inserted my sim card. Worked fine.
The offer from my service provider sounded good (new phone for less than $100) but I declined because of their insistence on a 2-year contract. I am sticking with my standard phone for now (and a work-issued Blackberry) but I know I am going to have to buy a new one eventually. It won't be iPhone (I don't want to join the herd) but a nice smartphone is certainly in my future.
I agree - there will remain a portion of the population that wants basic phones because of cost, simplicity, or both. Not everyone wants all of the capabilities of a smart phone, and mobile communication and the associated basic service plan is enough.
This article really struck a chord with me. I was in a Verizon store this weekend to get an upgrade and the salesperson was pushing iPhones, which, of course, were out of stock. Like my debate over tablets, the bells and whistles of the iPhone are things I just don't need right now. Plus, when I heard that one version was priced at $400, that decided it. Not going to happen.
While smartphones are taking the world by storm, there are still many emerging markets where feature phones are needed due to costs. Another problem is the wireless providers, they are offering more smartphones over feature phones, but will not activate the phones without a data plan. For some families with multiple phones, that gets too expensive.
Apple will most likely not offer a cheaper version of the Iphone. And why should they, people continue to buy the new ones at record pace when they are released. The older models then just get reduced price tags and make them more affordable.
Exactly, You just pay a bit more and you have a smart phone. Now there is huge effort put to design and come up with an awesome handheld device. No more people are interested in using big machines even to check upon their emails.
In the developing countries there is a huge section of the mobile consumers who are satisfied with the basic functionality. Today in a country like India , even the sweepers like to have a mobile . The low wage workers like carpenters, painters, the watchmen, the security guards all of them want to have a mobile. But they can do with the basic phones as long as there are able to be in touch with their near and dear ones , their masters, their clients. These people are happy using the earlier generation used phones without camera, without color.
The feature phones can go out of market only if the price of smart phones becomes so low so as to be afforadable to the above section of the people.
EBN Dialogue enables and encourages you to participate in live chats with notable leaders and luminaries. Not only editors and journalists, but the entire EBN community is able to comment and ask questions. Listed below are upcoming and archived chats.
Thailand Stages a Comeback Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Microsoft Surface: Potential Winners & Losers What are the implications for the electronics industry supply chain of Microsoft Corp.'s decision to launch its own tablet PC? Join industry veteran and EE Times' systems and OEM expert Rick Merritt on Tuesday, July 3, at 12:00 pm EDT for a Live Chat on this subject.
Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Peter Drucker famously said "Trying to predict the future is like trying to drive down a country road at night with no lights while looking out the back window." Yet in the razor's-edge world of electronics—with a lean supply chain and just-in-time demands—the need to know the future is vital.
You've heard the saying "the No. 1 supply chain risk is your people." That hasn't always been the case. But today's complex global supply chain requires a new type of multitalented employee. It's one who understands, finance, marketing, economics, is savvy with technology, graceful with relationships and can think analytically.
Where are these people? Are universities properly preparing the next generation supply chain professionals? How do train your existing workforce for these new, demanding positions?
Brian Fuller, editor-in-chief of EBN, will lead a 60-minute Avnet Velocity panel discussion that will ask and answer these and other questions swirling around today's supply-chain talent challenges.