Yesterday I mentioned the arrival of the sub-$100 Android smartphone as just one more headache for Nokia.
Taiwan and mainland Chinese design houses are offering turnkey chip and OS solutions to OEMs at $100 and less, promising to jump-start demand for Web-friendly Android-based devices in developing markets, where Nokia now sells most of its phones.
Now Apple’s getting in on the act. Bloomberg reports that a smaller, low-cost version of the iPhone is in production inside the Cupertino hit machine. Apple is aiming to get the device – which would sell for around $200 – to the market by the mid-year.
The Bloomberg story also confirms GigaOm’s scoop three months ago that Apple is planning its own universal SIM card that would enable consumers to enjoy access to multiple mobile operators via iTunes. That’s a huge development for the mobile industry – will post more on that later.
It just remains to be pointed out that the age of the mass market smartphone is here; consumers actually bought more smartphones than PCs in the last quarter of 2010.
We’ll hear a lot more about low-cost smartphones at the annual mobile industry confab in Barcelona next week.