Cheap Androids to gobble up feature phone sales

The president at chip design company MediaTek is predicting cheap smartphones have the opportunity to snatch away yet more market share from feature phones in emerging markets.

Nokia, late to the smartphone party with Microsoft as its partner, has been successful selling feature phones to emerging markets, where factors like extra-long battery life and robust casing are a deal breaker. But as innovations in the chip industry drive down power consumption, smartphones could cannibalise parts of the feature phone market.

MediaTek’s president, Hsieh Ching-chiang, would say that. His company recently put out the MT6575 which is designed with dual core smartphones costing between $150 – $180, Digitimes reports. 

Decent enough Android devices at a relatively low price are going to be what turns the tide for smartphones at least in China, Ching-chiang thinks. Companies like ZTE and Huawei already have their eyes set on that particular market, along with the rest of the world, and competition is going to be fierce for the entry level smartphone.

For now, cheap smartphones probably aren’t going to do enough to make a dent in the global feature phone market, where Nokia is king. MediaTek also generates much of its sales in the feature phone sector so it hasn’t given up completely. Users in countries where access to PCs isn’t widespread, particularly in rural areas, favour the feature phone as a way to get online.