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Cheap Android phones to dominate developing world


A new report reveals that Android's global takeover may reach a fever pitch by 2015, when it may account for 80 percent of developing markets, in countries such as Africa, India and China.

The lower-costing Android smartphones will be the ones with the most potential for landing in consumers' hands in these markets, according to In-Stat, part of the NDP research group. 

In a summary of the report, In-Stat states elaborates on those phones:

The low-cost Android smartphone segment is comprised primarily of smartphones released with Android 2.2 or 2.3, since these versions are a good blend of features with modest memory and processor usage. The low-end low-cost smartphones generally stick with EDGE and processors running at 600MHz or lower, because a single-core EDGE chip sells for well under $10. For our purposes, low-cost means smartphones that are $150 or less. Smaller phone manufacturers will sometimes purchase from the “gray market” where component manufacturers typically don't pay licensing fees, royalties, or taxes for the products they produce. Early competitors in the market include Huawei, MicroMax, Motorola, Samsung, Spice and ZTE.

In-Stat predicts that 340 million units of these phones will ship worldwide in 2015, and that their presence may very well disrupt Google's plan for unified upgrades and continue the fragmentation that has plagued the operating system. There is also continuing problems with app infections of the open source system, though Google is trying to counter those intruders with increased security measures.

But first, Android has to continue to duke it out with iPhones, which surged in sales amongst smartphone buyers late in 2011 with the introduction of the Siri-sensationalized iPhone 4S. Apple continues to close that gap and be a formidable adversary to compete with Google domination. Maybe resistance isn't so futile after all.

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On Twitter, follow Athima Chansanchai, who is also trying to keep her head above water in the Google+ stream.