Over half of all mobile phones sold in south-east Asia are now smartphones, as punters trade their feature phones in for low-cost, mainly Android-based handsets, in ever greater numbers this year. In the first three months of 2013 alone consumers from Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia and the …
that we in the UK are depricved of these cheap phones/tablets by the distribution models where only the 5 or 6 big boys dominate.
I am sure if free trade was allowed, many millions more will join the mobile revolution by easy import of these genric models at 1/10th the price of APples/Samsungs et al.
The UK market is still "fixed" by these cartelised makers and distributors/channel partners, being a rip-oo haven..
Phones, in themselves are not smart, they do what they are programmed to do, they don't think for themselves do they.
Until my phone begins to question my decisions Or knows when I look as though I need a coffee, then goes out and makes me one, placing the cup in front of me and saying 'take it easy friend you look like you need a break' I will look at it and see it as just a bit of technology.
A phone is not really smart is it?
1) not everyone wants a 'smartphone'.
2) Have you been to S.E Asia and actually tried these 'generic' tablets?
3) most people in the UK who want/need a mobile already have one.
I was in H.K about 6 weeks ago and looked at and even tried a few. The result was IMHO that the cheap tablet can get in Tesco is better value for money. Most of my colleagues in HK and Shanghai think that Samsung tablets are crap whereas their phones are so-so.
A phone is not really smart is it?
My phone already questions my decisions. Or at least pre-empts them by occasionally ringing people when all I wanted was to use the calculator app. Damn you, touchscreens.
Previous phone would drain my PAYG balance downloading tiny amounts of data to itself on a regular basis. I wasn't on a data plan so £1 for a few kilobytes. T Mobile refunded the money and suggested it was to do with picture-texts but the solution was to put a bogus web address in the APN settings (as I recall).
It might help drive down leading brand prices in the UK if more allegedly crap Chinese smartphones became available here. Note the prices/features of ZTE (notably the Orange San Francisco) and Huawei models already here.
There's a lot advertised for sale, via Chinese distributors, on Amazon. Many seem to be pretty crap specs (watch out for some that are only 2G!), and the rest - well - bit of a gamble as to what spec they actually are. But you might get lucky.
Lots of these 'smart' phones are just Chinese-manufactured crap
And yes, I know that the 'big boys' also manufacture all their stuff in China, but you know what I mean.
The market here in Thailand is full of the usual suspects (Apple, Samsung, HTC, LG, Asus, etc.), and then a few local brands whose main selling point is that the entire phone UI, the manual and the box are all in the Thai language - but then there is a mass of horrible super-cheap crap-phones and shit-tablets that cost a couple of thousand THB (say, 40 quid) and run some shonky version of Android that has been obsolete for at least a year with no prospect of ever being able to put a newer version on it.
Phones here are all sold without contracts, and so are sold SIM free. This means that the iPhone 5s starts at 23,900 THB (around 450 quid). So you can imagine that there is quite the market for the crap-phones ...
Final push for IPv6
My ISP cannot provide IPv6 connectivity here in Canada, a former leader in communications. Why? They don't think we have a problem with the IPv4 address space. WTF? I will name and shame:ISP is Cogeco
IPv6 sucks barnacles and that is why after more than ten years we still do not have an IPv6 network.
The billions of smartphones online or coming online need their own IP address to get on to the network. NAT does not cut it, especially if it basically confines you to point to point communications within your ISP.
I am expecting that adoption of IPv6 will happen rapidly in the next five years or so and it will be driven by devices like this. The phones are a first-wave, but it will be followed by all sorts of other devices as the IoT emerges.
All mobile phones are "smart"
There has never been an objective difference between "smart" and "feature" phones, just one of marketing - both of these do Internet, apps, run operating systems. Once upon a time we called them all smartphones, but the term "feature" phone was introduced around 2003-2004 to distinguish the new lower cost phones from the high end. This is not at all anything to do with the "dumb" mobile phones which were just mobile phones (I don't think those even exist, anymore). Whilst "feature" tends to be used for lower end phones, if we're comparing to lower end "smart" devices (which may involve poor quality devices, as the comments suggest), the difference is less clear.
It's better to compare by platform - and what this tells us is that Android is getting increasing market share. The labels that we apply are irrelevant - "half of all widgets now have arbitrary label X rather than arbitrary label Y".
By any sensible definition, all mobile phones today are smart, in the sense of being mobile computers (and the same sense of "smart TV" - no one talks about feature TVs), it's just a question of what OS they run, and how powerful they are.
It's great living next to Land of Cheap aka The World's Workshop aka China
It is now possible to buy a half-decent feature cell handset, with two SIM slots, for $15 in Ho Chi Minh City. Bottom end Android smartphones, with capacitive screens, go for $35.
Couple these prices with VietNam's government-mandated open (unlocked) cell handset policy and VNPT's basic cell service it's easy to see why students of all ages carry some form of cell handset.
The government-owned, for profit, VNPT basic plan supplies a starter prepaid SIM and airtime for $10 and coupled with their 'poor peoples plan' (one outgoing call/SMS per month to maintain SIM validity) can keep people available for over a year. I have a SMS only unit on which I dropped $20 six years ago using the 'poor' plan and I can still receive incoming SMS messages and have a balance of Dong 210,000 (USD$9.96 / GBP6.08).
A replacement SIM costs $0.15 + a Dong10,000 (USD$0.47 / GBP0.29) top up. VNPT still makes millions (dollars) profits. Their subsidiary, Mobiphone, caters to the youth market with all sorts of messaging, etc AND FREE EVENINGS/OVERNIGHTS!
Samsung, and Apple, maintain their prices for high end cell handsets - Samsung used it's regional activation feature to 'eliminate' the grey market - although all Samsung units are sold unlocked in VietNam. As VietNam has no laws against price fixing, and legit dealers have to sell at stipulated prices, they give 'promotions' (aka discounts) by loading you down with very useful accessories such as Bluetooth headsets, battery chargers, etc.