Many have called 2011 the Year of the Tablet Wars. Android is releasing its first tablet-oriented OS (Honeycomb) and devices that are (finally) on par with the iPad, Microsoft is having its go at the market, and the iPad is just as strong as ever. But Seth Weintraub of Tech Fortune feels that it’s foolish to disregard what will be happening with smartphones over the upcoming year, and he’s got some really good reasons why.
According to Weintraub’s article, 2011 will be the year that smartphones make it to the mainstream in the market. Despite the many advancements of smart devices over the last few years, only about thirty percent of cell phone subscribers in the U.S. use one of these ultra-modern devices. Part of the reason, of course, is the price, with many “standard” phones coming in at half the price of their high IQ counterparts, if not lower. This will change over the next few months, states Weintraub.
He points to Broadcom’s recent announcement of a “mass market” Android phone. This phone has just about everything that low-end smart phones of this year have had, including a 5 megapixel camera, a high-resolution screen, GPS, Bluetooth, and a wicked little dual-core processor. The selling point? It will cost under $100. This may do more than lowering handset costs, since carriers will have to compete more heavily for customers, and will likely push down the cost of data plans.
We’ve already been seeing an outstanding rate of growth, with over 269 million smartphone devices sold in 2010, nearly 100 million more than the year prior. However, Weintraub says that 2011 will be even more explosive, and puts the figure of half a billion units sold in plain lettering in his list of predictions — and, thanks to devices like Broadcom’s, it looks like a big chunk of that will bear the Android emblem.