When we think about cheap Android smartphones the first thing that comes to mind is probably the Moto G, or maybe an even cheaper handset from ZTE, Xiaomi or another smartphone maker. Those devices may all seem overpriced by the end of this year, however, at least according to ARM, which claims it has paved the way for the first $20 smartphone to hit the market in the next few months.
The news comes from Tech Day 2014 this week, where ARM shared its prediction. These smartphones won’t compete with the latest flagship Android devices. Instead they’ll target emerging markets where most people only have access to simple cellphones that can handle calls, text messages and not much else. In areas like this, the single-core processor handsets ARM describes could help introduce many of the mobile services we take for granted today, including social media, email and mapping.
What OEM will be the first to deliver one to market? Mozilla is already racing on a smartphone made by ZTE, which runs on its Firefox OS, but what about Android? If ARM is right, we’ll know who’s capable of delivering on such a device in just a few more months.