BlackBerry, Windows Phone threatened by flood of cheap Android devices

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0705(55)For a while now, we’ve heard about BlackBerry and Windows Phonevendors betting big on expanding their presence in emerging markets by releasing cheaper devices aimed at consumers who are buying smartphones for the first time. But as Business Insider’s Jay Yarow points out, there’s major obstacle standing in these platforms’ paths: No-name Android vendors that are pumping out a flood of cheap phones that sell in the $100 range. Yarow points to new research from Needham analyst Charlie Wolf showing that no-name Android vendors now account for roughly a quarter of all Android devices, or more than the combined Android market share of HTC, LG, Sony and Motorola.

Wolf says that most of these no-name companies are “located in China” and “have entered the market with low-end, cheaply produced Android phones that are not much more expensive than feature phones.” And this is the big problem for any company that wants to get its platform widely used in emerging markets: It’s going to have a very difficult time competing against hordes of smaller manufacturers that use a free-to-use mobile operating system to crank out insanely cheap phones that undercut even the lowest-end BlackBerry and Windows Phone devices.

 

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