This is how technology works: In 2007, the iPhone debuted at a carrier-subsidized price of $500. Seven years later, mobile rewards company Jana predicts that in 2014, Chinese-made, Android-powered smartphones of comparable functionality will be available for consumers to buy for $20 unsubsidized in China.
That’s one of the 10 predictions Jana is making for 2014. As a Boston-based mobile company that makes 100% of its revenue outside the US, Jana is well positioned to alert the English speaking world to developments in mobile in the rest of the world—for example, how Facebook strategically outflanked Google and countless others to capture its next billion users.
Twenty dollars is the same price as feature phones made by Nokia, which means that smartphones are well on their way to totally eclipsing their feature-phone brethren, which are still popular throughout the developing world. Just because these phones will be $20 in China doesn’t mean they’ll be that cheap elsewhere in the world, however—once the smartphones cross borders, shipping, customs, and distributor fees all add significantly to the price.