Android phones cover a huge range of price points, from sub-$100 devices running Gingerbread badly to $1000 chunks of Jelly Bean gorgeousness. The cheap end of the spectrum is going to grow rapidly over the next four years according to NPD DisplaySearch, but cheap smartphones still won’t make up the majority of the market.
NPD DisplaySearch predicts that global sales of sub-$US150 smartphones will rise from 4.5 million units in 2010 to 311 million in 2016. Those numbers include other platforms, but Android accounts for the majority of those devices. As the report notes: “Android is the most popular operating system for low-cost smartphone designs because it is open source. Brands and manufactures tend to use mature, low-price components, rather than developing new ones.” That explains why we keep getting stuck with cheap models running 2.3.
In 2012, cheap Android phones were just 2 per cent of total smartphone shipments, a figure which will rise to 29 per cent by 2016, NPD DisplaySearch predicts. Takeup will be much higher in the Asia-Pacific than elsewhere, though Australia is unlikely to be a major contributor to those figures:
It’s good to know there are affordable alternatives out there, but if these figures can be trusted, it seems we won’t be giving up our addiction to buying newer faster models any time soon.