Google's Eric Schmidt: Feature phones will cost as much as a smartphone next year

Google's Eric Schmidt: Feature phones will cost as much as a smartphone next year
Google’s Chairman Eric Schmidt delivered one of the most exciting keynotes at MWC, and there’s one particular piece we wanted to highlight particularly. In the Q&A section after the keynote itself, Schmidt was asked “When are we going to see Android on feature phones?” 

Now, most of you would smile at that question and Schmidt himself wondered: “Why don’t you just buy a smartphone?” But the former Google ex-CEO quickly rephrased it:

“A better question is when will smartphones cost what feature phones cost and the answer is next year.”

Now, this of course is due to Moore’s law which says that processing power doubles every year (technically, the number of transistors on a die double). 

So last years’ $400 phone is next year’s $100 phone,” Schmidt added. “It’s happening. … We have many many partners who are working on phones that will begin in the $100-$150 range their eventual goal is to get it to $70.”

Finally, the former Google head said that once we arrive at the $70 price point, that will be the tipping point when smartphones will start flooding the developing markets as often these $70 phones are then resold for a mere $20-$30. That’s an exciting future isn’t it?

“I think those [Android sales] numbers have doubled over 6 months … eventually it [Androids sold] will be around a trillion, we’ll run out of people. We need to produce more people,” Schmidt joked.

Thumbnail image courtesy of AP.

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12 Comments

1. HTCOE

Posts: 650; Member since: Nov 20, 2011

interesting...

2. bayusuputra

Posts: 963; Member since: Feb 12, 2012

well, i can see that one coming.. just like those feature phones back in first half of the last decade, they all came up with very high price tags.. remember Nokia Communicator Series? i can't see why smartphones will not reach below $100 marks.. in the early days of mobile phones, they were considered as luxury items, when they could only make phonecalls.. then feature phones came out, making the first gen handphones felt like what feature phones are today.. i still remember getting my nokia 3200 for a higher price than what i paid for my LG Cookie Fresh.. and i paid the same for my Desire S now.. hopefully this will come sooner than later.. i am excited to see the developments of communication technology.. as someone who live away from his family and can't afford to just buy a smartphones for his family out of the blue, this is very interesting.. but i can't really say that i am surprised by this prediction..

3. Bluesky02

Posts: 1439; Member since: Dec 05, 2011

Impressive the way he sees the future, perhaps that's what made their products so successful

4. redmd

Posts: 1939; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

the galaxy y is around $100 no contract. it's almost here.

8. pegasso

Posts: 285; Member since: Nov 27, 2011

Huawei Ideos X1 and ZTE Racer II are around US$90 without contract. next question, when are we going to see Android phones with better battery consumption?

9. ZEUS.the.thunder.god unregistered

yeah and actually its selling good in emerging markets

5. ardent1

Posts: 2000; Member since: Apr 16, 2011

I get flames and hate posts from the android camp for the past year all because I said android devices will be cheaper, these devices will become like commodities, how low cost OEMs will take share from the Samsung or HTC et al. The current generation of android smart phones are not worth $600 or even $500 at list prices. These android OEMs like Samsung have been scamming and raping android buyers. The Samsung Nexus shouldn't cost more than $350, but android buyers drank the cool aid. Android smart phones are some of the most overpriced devices in the market today. Right now, anyone can buy android handsets for as little as $100 to $150 at Walmart for several no contract plans.

7. maxican16

Posts: 364; Member since: Sep 29, 2011

Judging from the tone of your post, the fact you're getting thumbed down isn't as simple as that.

10. ZEUS.the.thunder.god unregistered

oh. so you mean your mighty iphone is worth $650 or worst in countries like Brazil it costs about $1250. i guess its ifans who been drinking cool aid to buy the same phone over and over again for half the decade now.

11. ardent1

Posts: 2000; Member since: Apr 16, 2011

There's only one data point for the iPhone while there are numerous data points for the android OEMs. It's not hard to look at these various bits of informations to come to the simple conclusion android OEMs are raping high-end android users at a level far worse than what Apple is doing. I am just pointing out facts. Anyone can look at the cost structure and just add the sum of the parts and see how BADLY android users are being ripped off.

12. maxican16

Posts: 364; Member since: Sep 29, 2011

"At a level far worse than Apple is doing." How can you be serious? It's amazing how well apple brain washes people. That statement is just too ridiculous to consider taking you legitimately.

6. ibap

Posts: 867; Member since: Sep 09, 2009

The headline gets the story backwards. It makes it sound like the feature phones are going to have their prices jacked up, instead of the smartphone prices dropping.

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