More sub $200 smartphones will be sold in 2018 than all smartphones sold in 2012

BY Stefan Constantinescu

Published 9 Aug 2013

The Galaxy phones and iPhone get all the attention from the media, but it’s the budget phones, the ones that cost less than $300 and often less than $200 that actually end up selling the most. This shouldn’t be a new piece of information to you. It’s why Android has 80% market share while Apple has less than 15%. You can make a $99 Android phone, but Apple can’t make a $99 iPhone.

Which brings me to today’s statistic, courtesy of the analysts at ABI Research. They predict that in the year 2018, just five years from now, there will be 780 million smartphones purchased that cost less than $200 full retail. To put that number into some perspective, the analysts at Strategy Analytics said that 700 million smartphones shipped in all of 2012.

When will you and I stop ignoring budget phones? That depends. The day I can buy a 4G LTE enabled smartphone with a 720p screen for 200 Euros, and that’s with taxes included, I’ll start taking budget smartphones seriously. Will that happen in five years time? Absolutely. The Galaxy S II, which cost over 600 Euros when it launched in 2011, is now 250 Euros here in Finland just two years later.

In other words, Galaxy S III levels specs should hit the 250 Euro mark next year when the GS5 is out, so you can only imagine what kind of phone $200 USD will be able to buy you in 2018.