Will we ever see cheaper phones?
OnePlus finally took the covers off their One phone (I don't get the name either) and it's pretty impressive. It has the specs to stand against some of the top flagships out there and comes in at $300, which is about half the price of major flagships. The two potential downsides are the battery is not removable, and it only has 16GB of storage with no microSD slot. However for only $50 more you can get 64GB of storage instead.
The phone will be available stateside, as well as Europe and Asia, which begs the question: Can it disrupt the current pricing model of cellphones?
Google has been trying to do this, to some extent, with the Nexus line up. Motorola also tried this with the Moto G, as well as other cheaper manufacturers like BLU. The problem though is these devices are rarely sold through carriers. T-Mobile carries the Nexus 5, but it's also $50 more than buying it through Google's Play Store.
I think there is also a trust issue here with these companies. Does anyone want to, or know, of companies like BLU? What about OnePlus?
If cheaper flagship phones are to come to the market, what do you think needs to happen? Do we just need a greater influx of devices from Chinese manufacturers like ZTE, OnePlus and Huawei? Do you think we'd ever see a $300-350 Galaxy S5 or HTC One M8?
Another issue could be that those big phone manufacturers I just mentioned above could lobby for the US to start "investigating" and filing baseless claims that China is out to spy in the US through these Chinese phone manufacturers which will slow the progress they are trying to achieve.
(The Qualcomm’s MDM6600, which was the radio chip used in the iPhone 4S apparently costs $32: www.aliexpress.com/qualcomm-mdm6600_price.html).
And even when they use the same components (e.g., 4G iPads and Nexus tablets), they are still cheaper than a phone with equivalent specs. It's downright crazy. There's definitely some weird sort of artificial price inflation that's happening here.