The State of Entry Level Mobile Feature Phone Market in Asia

With EDGE smartphone retail price hitting US$50 and 3G smartphone hitting US$70 by early 2013, we expect low end smartphone to cannibalize feature phone in a meaningful way, leading to a much higher than expected smartphone shipment in 2013.

The Sub-US$100 segment is dominated by whitebox players with no presence from global brands. For US$100 model, whitebox players can feature single core 1 GHz processor with 4 inch WVGA display and 5MP camera. For branded players, their lowest price models are generally around US$120 with outdated 800 MHz processor, lower resolution 3.2-3.5 inch HVGA screen and 3MP camera.

The US$55-75 EDGE Mobile phone from whitebox makers is also selling extremely well in China. Most of these models have 3.5 inch VGA display with 1 GHz processor and 2-3MP camera. Global brands have no presence in this segment.

In the US$100-150 segment, we have a very interesting dynamic with high end EDGE smartphone and mid end 3G smartphone. For US$120-150, whitebox makers can offer EDGE smartphone with 1GHz processor, 4.7 inch qHD and 5MP camera. We note that qHD (960X540) is normally used in very high end smartphone. For example, Samsung Galaxy S2 and HTC Sensation XL both used only WVGA (800X480).

For US$140-150, whitebox makers can offer 3G Cortex dual core A9 processor, with 5.3 inch WVGA display and 5MP camera.