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January 30, 2018




If only they would put in bigger batteries...

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi Jim

I'm currently modeling 1.55B smartphones total for year 2017. Would be 5% growth rate year-on-year. Not bad but nothing like it was in the hot years..

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Jim Glue

Hi Tomi,

5% sounds about right. What do you think of the prospects going forward? Is this a bad year or what we should come to expect.


Remember, Moore's law is an observation that ever 3 years it is possible to move to a new process node that results in a doubling of transistor density.
Prior to approx 2008 this could be harnessed to double performance in 3 years, as the extra transistors could be used for things like speculative execution, and also made higher clock frequencies possible.
Since 2008 there has been a move to increasing the core count, but performance of conventional (non-parallel) software has not increased very much.

Sheer economies of scale are - IMO - the main driver in falling smartphone costs. Perhaps the main reason prices are unlikely to hit the $10 floor is that for most people - even in the developing world - $20 is cheap enough and gets the purchaser a better-than-iPhone4 spec phone.


In Estonia, basic phones sell new for 15€. Used basic phones may cost even less.

The cheapest smartphone with Tomi's specs costs 37€ — with tax, but not delivery — from a seller with the easiest spec selection UI. It's an Allview P42 8GB (dual-SIM), with a 4" screen, but with only 512 Mb RAM and Android 6.0.

It really baffles me, why manufacturers skimp on RAM so much, even today.
At least there's an Allview P41 eMagic 8GB (dual-SIM), which has 1 GB of RAM, an goes for 49.95€.

In addition to these, four devices specced by Tomi were in the 40–50€ range, five between 50–60€.

What I can observe, is, that many (but not most) emerging smartphone markets have also reached saturation, so now it's down to specs.

The used phone market should be able to supply reasonably-specced phones for as much or even less.


War between google and apple?
Iphone x or google pixel xl 2?

Mike Rooney

$10 iPhone! Is that joke or really?

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