Unlocked $50 3G/WiFi Android smartphones now being built in China: The death of the feature phone?

Unlocked $50 Android smartphones, complete with 3G and WiFi capabilities, are expected to be released in China this year, according to reports.

IntoMobile and DigiTimes both report that a number of “white box” smartphone vendors in China are developing low-cost low-end Android handsets, with a target price point of around $50, that are expected to be on the market by the end of the year.

While consumers cannot expect the devices to include high-end features, such as quad-core processors or 4G support, the devices are likely to make price pressure a more significant factor in the Android smartphone market, while putting significant pressure on feature phone vendors such as Nokia.

According to leading analysts, China has already overtaken the United States as the world’s largest smartphone market, and the introduction of smartphones at low price points is likely to entrench that position further.

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