A $20 smartphone? That’s the goal, according to ARM. Reccent comments about the future of low-end smartphones noted that for a mere $20 bill, we could have our hands on a true burner smartphone. The concept is neat, but it’s probably not something you’d want to carry around for more than a week or so.
A single core chipset would run the device — probably a Cortex A5 — and would (naturally) operate on Android. A low-end memory option, like 4GB, would likely be the scenario as well. As for RAM, well, with a single core processor, who needs more than a few hundred megabytes?
The $20 threshold is likely the low point, though. While the device would likely use hardware that already exists, manufacturing would keep the price from falling any more than that. Would you want that, though — a $20, low-end smartphone?
For a few days, sure. It’s doubtful the device is one you’d want to tote around all the time, but in a pinch — no problem. It also has some inroads to emerging markets, where pricing is a major concern. As the industry shifts toward the mid-range market, flagship devices can be an example of what all devices should strive toward.
A $20 smartphone definitely holds court at the other end of the spectrum. Even more interesting is that ARM expects we could start seeing these pop up in a few months’ time. A burner smartphone that runs all the apps you need, and a solid device for emerging markets. Sounds like a winner.