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$30 Unlocked Android Smartphones To Launch in India This Month (factordaily.com) 82

Several Indian smartphone manufacturers including Micromax, Intex and Lava plan to unveil a slew of Android smartphones priced around $30 in the coming weeks, Indian news outlet FactorDaily reported on Tuesday. These handsets would run Android Oreo Go, a lite version of Google's mobile operating system first unveiled last year. The report sheds light on India's smartphone market: With cheap smartphones, Google and the phone vendors hope to ride the wave of mass scale internet access on mobile phones in India. From a monthly consumption of 20 crore (200 million) GB of data about 16 months ago, Indians now consume over 150 crore (1.5 billion) GB a month making the country No. 1 among mobile data consuming countries. Much of this change is credited to aggressive data pricing plans by Reliance Jio, which launched services in September 2016.
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$30 Unlocked Android Smartphones To Launch in India This Month

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    2018 and I'm still worrying about not exceeding my (already expensive) mobile data plan. Entrenched monopolies and state protectionism in Western countries mean we're not getting enough affordable connectivity for the next decades. Tech is going to migrate to countries like India where affordable infrastructure is being built.

    • by bazmail ( 764941 ) on Tuesday January 02, 2018 @08:22AM (#55847975)
      Nope, not "The West". It's only in the US where people get fisted like that. I pay 30 bucks a month for unlimited data/calls. If I dont like the service I can get a similar deal with 4 other carriers. It's called competition.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    1 crore appears to be 10 million, i.e. 10^7. It's a number superstition thing, isn't it?

    • by _merlin ( 160982 )

      It comes from the traditional Indian names for powers of ten. We follow the French system which goes "thousand" (10^3), "million" (10^6), etc. on powers of 10^3 In India, the first major division happens at 10^5, the "lakh", and it's every 10^2 from there onwards - 10^7 is the "crore", 10^9 is the "arab", then the next ones with special names are 10^15 the "padma" and 10^17 the "shankh". So when you're doing digit grouping, you group every two digits past 10^5, e.g. 1,23,45,678 (yeah, the asymmetry with

  • by Anonymous Coward

    production in india down 10%, people getting run over up 50%

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 02, 2018 @08:06AM (#55847917)

    There is definitely a market for cheap handsets here. Not everyone lives in LA, SF, NYC, or Austin, and has the dosh to buy a new iPhone X or whatever Apple is selling on release date. In fact, most of the country is barely getting by, with the best times in memory all behind them.

    It isn't like phone tech is improving by leaps and bounds anyway. Any phone made recently has a decent front and back camera, and Android makers have decent fingerprint scanners. Hell, Android has had FaceID since around 2013, with the ability for the phone to ask the person to blink, which is a security technique that hasn't been gotten around yet.

    As for CPUs, if apps didn't continue to be such bloated pigs, there wouldn't be a need for octocores on up, with bigger devices needed for more surface area for cooling.

    As for storage, 16-32 gig internal, then a MicroSD card slot. This way, if someone wants 400 gigs of storage, that is easily accomplished.

    None of this is rocket science here. The only thing that really is an obstacle is selling the devices in the US is the fact that companies think every Tom, Dick, and Harry can blow quad digits for a phone... which is not true.

    • by Salgak1 ( 20136 ) <salgak@@@speakeasy...net> on Tuesday January 02, 2018 @08:19AM (#55847959) Homepage

      . . .which is why I use old tech. My current phone is a refurbed Samsung Galaxy S5. With a 64 GB SD card. It does more than I ask it to do, so it's fine. I still really don't understand people who ***insist*** on paying the Bleeding Edge Tax. . .

      • I agree. I bought a second-hand S6 edge about 6 months ago for around £200 from Amazon. It was unlocked and I found a 128GB internal model as not all apps will install to an external SD card (I have LOTS of apps installed, still have ~80GB free). Together with a Virgin unlimited data plan for which I pay £11 a month, I get all I need from a mobile (phone)/computer for limited outlay.
        • by tsqr ( 808554 )

          I agree. I bought a second-hand S6 edge about 6 months ago for around £200 from Amazon. It was unlocked and I found a 128GB internal model as not all apps will install to an external SD card

          Interesting, but irrelevant. None of the S6 models can accommodate an SD card.

      • I still really don't understand people who ***insist*** on paying the Bleeding Edge Tax. . .

        I don't understand them, but I'm thankful for them defraying R&D costs so I don't have to.

      • Your phone actually does everything and more than the majority of 2017 flagship phones.
    • by Nidi62 ( 1525137 )

      There is definitely a market for cheap handsets here. Not everyone lives in LA, SF, NYC, or Austin, and has the dosh to buy a new iPhone X or whatever Apple is selling on release date. In fact, most of the country is barely getting by, with the best times in memory all behind them.....None of this is rocket science here. The only thing that really is an obstacle is selling the devices in the US is the fact that companies think every Tom, Dick, and Harry can blow quad digits for a phone... which is not true.

      Here you go [walmart.com]. Unlocked phones for as little as $40. Sorry to spoil your rant.

      • There is definitely a market for cheap handsets here. Not everyone lives in LA, SF, NYC, or Austin, and has the dosh to buy a new iPhone X or whatever Apple is selling on release date. In fact, most of the country is barely getting by, with the best times in memory all behind them.....None of this is rocket science here. The only thing that really is an obstacle is selling the devices in the US is the fact that companies think every Tom, Dick, and Harry can blow quad digits for a phone... which is not true.

        Here you go [walmart.com]. Unlocked phones for as little as $40. Sorry to spoil your rant.

        I got my kids $30 phones from cricket when we signed up. Capable little phones too, LGs, nothing breath-taking, but I didn't want them having powerful phones.

    • There is definitely a market for cheap handsets here.

      None of this is rocket science here. The only thing that really is an obstacle is selling the devices in the US is the fact that companies think every Tom, Dick, and Harry can blow quad digits for a phone... which is not true.

      What? Have you never visited the prepaid phone section in Walmart or any other dollar store?

      https://www.walmart.com/c/kp/p... [walmart.com]

    • Amazingly, you can get products shipped to the US from other countries! Go to Aliexpress and get a $35 Android smartphone delivered to your door. There are tons to choose from. Even more amazing is you can go to exotic stores in the US like "Best Buy" and get $50 unlocked phones! I know. Amazing.
  • They're getting smartphones to those who couldn't otherwise afford it. As India grows, they'll have a smart phone preference. I equate this to free cigs for soldiers in WWII except in this case it isn't free, but cheap and affordable; for some this could be a week's pay, and within reach.

    You can say a bunch of things about google, but getting these handsets to the cheapness of $30 opens a lot of windows for those who had none before.
    • but getting these handsets to the cheapness of $30 opens a lot of windows for those who had none before.

      Opening what kind of windows though? This isn't the same as One Laptop Per Child sort of goodness. (And look at how little that has accomplished.) This is purely about getting data-consuming devices into more hands.

      • by Ayano ( 4882157 )
        Well one-laptop-per-child was attempting make the power of a laptop affordable, but a laptop needs more power to do useful work than a smart phone does to do its primary function.

        Now I assume that they already have some kind of old cheap flip-phones, but a basic smart phone has a few more features, and increased portability. The ability for instance to take a photo with an affordable hand-held device that you would normally have on you (phone vs dedicated camera) can make a world of difference in rural a
    • getting these handsets to the cheapness of $30 opens a lot of windows

      What's the point of buying a $30 smartphone if the browser doesn't have a pop-up blocker?

  • The important question is, why can't we have this on high-end devices?

    I'm sure a lot of people would prefer a simple OS over the normal "bloat edition", even if they have good hardware.

    • Of course you can have this. Get a phone from Google, not from other manufacturers who load the bloat. Install just one or two really important Apps, like WhatsApp and Duck-Duck-Go privacy enhanced browser, and nothing else. Turn off all the google assist and other random things pushed by Google. Your phone will be great and long battery life.
  • If you buy a phone which haven't been locked down then it's not an unlocked phone. It's a phone without any locks. Or just a phone.

    Only locked down phones can be unlocked.

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