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Android phones at feature phone prices coming next year
|29 февраля 2012|
Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt anticipates that smartphones running the company's Android mobile operating system will retail at prices comparable to lower-end feature phones within the next year.Speaking here at Mobile World Congress 2012, Schmidt responded to an audience member asking when Android will expand to feature phones by asking why a consumer wouldn't simply buy an Android smartphone instead. "When will smartphones cost what feature phones cost? The answer is next year," Schmidt said. It's Moore's Law."
Schmidt spent much of his keynote in philosophical mode, outlining his vision of the world's future and the role that technology will play in its evolution. Reminding the audience that only 2 billion of the world's 7 billion citizens are presently connected to the Internet, Schmidt touted mobile technology as the key to granting all people access to the web.
"Mobile can change lives," Schmidt said. "With information comes power, and with power comes choice."
Schmidt also championed mesh networks that, while not connected to the web, still enable consumers to share content and ideas by leveraging technologies like Bluetooth. "Phones can talk to each other," he said. "They don't have to be connected to be useful." Schmidt later added, "If Google gets it right, there will be an Android phone in every pocket."
Android powered 50.9 percent of all smartphones sold in the fourth quarter of 2011, research firm Gartner reports. Apple's iOS was next at 23.8 percent.
"Schmidt's keynote painted a realistic picture of a world where the vast majority of the world's population will ultimately be able to participate in and help develop the digital world. But of course, it also represents an opportunity for Google, which it fully intends to exploit to the maximum," said Ovum principal analyst Tony Cripps in a statement mailed to media. "Schmidt's expectation that Android smartphones will be available between $100-$150 by next year already looks inevitable and will begin to redefine the handset market as a whole. The eventual goal of seeing the price of Android devices brought down into the $70 range also looks realistic to us with the advancement of technology and huge economies of scale that are starting to drive the Android economy. Android's astonishing growth so far may well look modest in coming years."