Smartphones for less than $60? Mobile video poised to soar

Prices on smartphones are set to tumble under $65 by the end of 2015 as chip makers and device manufacturers look to make the phones ubiquitous.

Published reports say the new generation of entry-level phones will include LTE capability and HD resolution, helped by next-gen SoC that are competing hard for phone wins.

“We will probably get as low as €50 [$62] by the end of next year and that’s without subsidies (for new phones),” Eric Nicolas, head of the ODM device portfolio at telecom operator Orange, told ComputerWorld.

While cheaper prices for big components like screens also have dropped sharply, according to NPD DisplaySearch said, a lot of the pricing pressure will come from new manufacturers like China-based Xiaomi, Oppo and OnePlus.

And, as cheaper phones come to market, the need for long-term contracts begins to be less necessary from a hardware cost recovery basis, another boon for consumers in every region.

But what it really means, of course, is that mobile video, which already is evolving at a breakneck pace, will be moving even faster, eating up more consumer time and becoming more of a focal point for many users than it already is.

So, for broadcasters and publishers, having a mobile component of your business isn’t just good business, it’s rapidly becoming a crucial one… because it really is the next big opportunity (if it’s not already).

While cheaper smartphones will help make them ubiquitous in North America and Western Europe, the price will have an even greater impact on emerging markets.

In mature markets, much of the growth of mobile video has been attributed to Millennials. Many anthropologists have referred to Millennials as the first truly “global” generation, one that shares likes, interests and habits.

Stay tuned.

Stay tuned.

Jim O’Neill is Editor of Videomind and Principal Analyst at Brightcove. You can follow him on Twitter @JimONeillMedia and on LinkedIn