Android_One_devices_944Google has plans for a $50 Android One smartphone for the developing world, but how would such a phone be built? How much would they spend on each component? Engadget takes some guesses at the amounts and determines it can probably be done, but it may not be a very great phone. But then, any phone at all will be better than nothing for the target market.

The cost breakdown Engadget guesstimates goes:

  • Display: $8 (4.5” 854×480 panel)
  • Design: Free (using a plain-vanilla hardware reference design with no frills)
  • System-on-a-chip: $10 (1.3 GHz ARM A7)
  • RAM and storage: $10 (1 GB RAM, 4GB storage)
  • Battery and cameras: $5 (1,600 mAh, 5 MP/2 MP cameras)
  • The Rest: $9 (case materials, assembly costs, etc.)

They necessarily had to make some educated guesses for parts of that, but it seems reasonable enough. It might not be much of a phone compared to a modern multi-hundred-dollar machine, but it will be just the thing for people who can’t afford one of those.

Luckily, e-books don’t take much processing power. It’ll be a lot better e-reading device than the old Palm Pilots many e-book early adopters started out with. After all, their memory was measured in megabytes, not gigabytes.


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