I'm currently shopping for a new phone, as my Nexus One keeps shutting off at random and a new battery didn't fix it. Since I don't want a contract, I'll be paying full price...I would love to buy this phone instead of a Nexus S or Galaxy S or other recent HTC phones. I'm limiting myself to phones that are easily rooted, since I like a stock Android OS rather than the ones that carriers have screwed up (I also rely on the WiFi hotspot feature occasionally, and I'm not paying $20/mo extra for it on trop of the already outrageous data rates). If this phone were available in the US today for $310, I would buy it today, without a bit of hesitation. There's nothing even close to that price point with those kind of specs.
Covered here previously: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2171107
My write up on how to activate the Optimus for WiFi use only: http://blog.gerundinganimal.com/2011/01/cheap-wifi-only-andr...
True it isn't unlocked, but I'm not aware of anyone saying unsubsidized == unlocked.
You can buy a Virgin mobile phone and never activate it. You can stop paying without penalty after your first month. That's unsubsidised.
What's the cost of
- Samsung Galaxy S II
- LG Optimus 2x (or Optimus Speed, depending on location)
for you? Both are recent dual core models, the latter is the cheaper one (I own that one and payed more than $300 and thought it a bargain).
The issue isn't just carrier subsidy in this case, having an uber-cheap Android phone will open up huge markets that are currently underserved by smart phones (Africa, anyone?). There are projects afoot that would greatly benefit from seriously cheap, capable hardware right now--my friend is working on a water finder project for rural areas in poor countries (think Botswana in the sticks) to help track well quality and production. This is a huge issue for these areas and having something that is as powerful as Android with GPS and network capabilities is a game changer.
At $310, that's a harder sell. At $99, it's a no brainer.
A straight up $99 phone certainly wouldn't have quite the appeal. I do think you'd sell a bunch of them, but nothing like the touchpad.
This article is pointing out that cheap high-end Androids (superphones?) are also becoming available.
It might, but I do not think it is a given. By the time it is economically feasible to sell such a phone for that price, the bar may have been raised to 'require' more power. Phones cost a couple of hundred dollar not only because of technical limitations, but also because that is what 'we' want to pay. Just like what happened with PCs, the prices may (and probably will) come down eventually, but I think that may be a few years in the future yet. For example, I would prefer a 3D or even holographic screen over a cheaper phone. I also think there will be applications of realtime image processing that will make 'us' prefer a faster phone at the same price over the current one at a lower price.
Sure, I've seen faster Android phones, but it feels quite responsive and it's usable. Angry Birds works ok. It cost me 90 quid, that's $140.
You know that Android devices are outselling iPhones, even in the high end, right? Price is not the only reason people are choosing Android devices over iPhones.
Android phones outsell iPhones for several reasons, chiefly supply and price.
Do you have a source for this assertion, or is it just a gut feeling?
Citation please? Some people no doubt buy Android for phobias about "walled gardens", etc. but that's about all I can think of having used both.
If you got this with a contract, it would go for $49. Compare that to the Epic 4G Touch for $199 with a contract.