The cheap smartphone is upon us.
Apple was rumored this week to be working on a cut-price iPhone, a $100 to $150 model that some tastelessly nicknamed the iPoor. It seems out of character for Apple, but other smartphone makers that typically focus on higher-end markets are doing the same.
Google’s Nexus 4, for instance, is available in the US without a wireless contract for $299–if you can get your hands on the sold-out phone–compared to the iPhone 5 that goes for $649 without a contract or the $799 Samsung Galaxy Note II. And now the once-great Research In Motion is set to release six models of its BlackBerry 10 on three US carriers that the company says will be hitting all the different “price points.”
RIM used to be known for expensive, luxury phones, but its last-ditch effort at revival will be geared toward all consumer brackets. So although this could simply be an act of desperation on RIM’s part, it’s also possible that this is another sign of the mobile times to come, where paying $900 for the device in your back pocket—the only pocket that will accommodate your phablet—is a thing of the past.