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June 02, 2016



From your text I understand you say $10 in hard currency. No inflation or exchange corrections (e.g., Purchasing Power Parity). So, this prediction is even bolder than it looked in 2010.

There is a hitch in Moore's law. I was always puzzled how it could be possible that this law held almost exactly for so long. Until I read that this was based on the planning of the Fabs. The Intel's etc of the world made it true. And that has ended last year.

However, this Moore's law ends for the high end. I think that this will have no influence on your prediction. The electronics components that do exist will fall in price just fine as the volumes are still increasing. I also think that the casing etc will keep dropping in price. A cheap gadget does not need an unbreakable case.


Just as a comparison, this is what you can get for $13 (888 rupees) in India now:

The Docoss X1 is powered by 1.2GHz dual-core and it comes with 1GB of RAM. The phone packs 4GB of internal storage that can be expanded up to 32GB via a microSD card. As far as the cameras are concerned, the Docoss X1 packs a 2-megapixel primary camera on the rear and a 0.3-megapixel front shooter for selfies.

The Docoss X1 runs Android 4.4.2 and is powered by a 1300mAh removable battery. It measures 122.20 x 64.40 x 9.30 (height x width x thickness) and weighs 102.00 grams.

The Docoss X1 is a dual SIM (GSM and GSM) smartphone that accepts two Regular SIMs. Connectivity options include Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth, FM. Sensors on the phone include Proximity sensor, Ambient light sensor, Accelerometer.


I do think there are some advances in display and battery technology which allow them to be produced cheaper. Indeed not at Moore's Law levels, but still.

If we look at the dumbphones that $10 will buy today, they have 3G and a 2.8" qVGA screen. They are missing camera flash/GPS/touchscreen and of course everything is lower spec than the iPhone 4 still.

Much like the Freedom 251 before it, I think the Docoss X1 is going to be unsold inventory of some year-old Chinese phone. So not really what Tomi is talking about.



The next lowest price is $21 (Rs. 1,389):

Champion My Phone 36

256 MB RAM
Display 3.5 inches (Small) 320x480 px
Camera 2 MP Camera (Rear)
Single LED Flash
Battery 1500 mAH, Li-Ion
Storage 256 MB Internal
Expandable Up To 8 GB



This one is better at $25.25 (Rs. 1,699):

Josh Nest

1.2 GHz Dual Core Processor
256 MB RAM
Display 4 inches (Small) 480x800 px
Camera 3.2 MP Primary, 1.3 MP Front, Single LED Flash
Battery 1500 mAH, Li-Ion
Storage 512 MB Internal
Expandable Up To 32 GB


Related article on long term developments:

The entire history of iPhone vs. Android summed up in two charts


These too look like old phones too.

Do note that GMS approval window usually closes 9 months after release of the successor version of Android. This means all devices which are actually new (ie. not clearance sales of older Chinese phones) will at least run Lollipop.


"These too look like old phones too."

I was not sure about Tomi's criteria. On the one hand, a "new" phone is still "new" after a year on the shelf. On the other hand, I agree that the real spirit of the "contest" is that it should be a newly designed and marketed handset.

The cheapest Android 5 I can find still costs $40, so higher than what Tomi found.

There is this "Ringing Bells Freedom 251" which claims to cost less than $5 (Rs 291), but that really sounds much too good to be true.


Looking in China now. Nothing below Tomi's $37.

VKWorld F1 Android 5.1 Smartphone – 4.5 Inch Screen, MTK6580 Quad Core CPU, Dual SIM, Bluetooth 4.0, Smart Wake (White)

This one has a bunch around $50


Cheapest I have found is Wi-Note H40 for $27 wholesale (add distribution and retail profit).
Quad-core, 4" WVGA, 0.3MP/2MP dual cameras with LED Flash, Android 5.1.

But I suppose these are all manufacturer promises. Until you can actually buy it in a shop it won't count.

Wayne Borean

Dual sim smartphones on Alibaba.



Sorry to say, but the phone you have chosen has 2 MP camera. Please verify.

But, there are phones which are similar or even lower priced with 5MP camera and all other specs meeting (Torque Droidz Atom S for example).

Its fascinating to think of $10 smartphone and the revolution it will bring.


In other news, there are rumors of samsung focusing again in tizen

Abdul Muis
(US Govt. is the real founder of iPhone)

Tomi T Ahonen


Is anyone still here reading the blog for any smartphones-related occasional stories, or have you all deserted me because I just do Trump stories now? I have a goodie for you today.

I just launched a new Twitter-contest. Guess the market share of Nokia smartphones exactly 3 years from now, ie after June Quarter (Q2) of 2019. Join us, pick your percentage (up to one decimal point, ie 1.7% or 6.7% or 5.0% whatever you think) and submit it to me via Twitter (not leaving an entry on the blog). You have 3 days to think about it, but do join us. Read the rules on the new blog up just a moment ago.

Good luck!

Tomi Ahonen :-)


I read for the smartphone stories. As a U.S. reader who follows politics your "feel" for of U.S. politics - I'll be diplomatic - is somewhat less impressive than your "feel" for smartphone technology. (though I'm impressed by your research - if I knew as much about say... French politics I'd be a highly educated fellow) IMHO you should write more about smartphones and less about U.S. politics.

custom iphone case manufacturers

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