Can America do a cheap smartphone?

America loves its smartphone, so why isn’t there a cheap and fully functional smartphone available in the country? The low end phones still cost more than most phones in other countries. There are reasons why it hasn’t been done, and a few reasons of why it may not ever work.

Why can other countries bring it in so low?

The UK, China, India and several other countries have proved that it is more than possible to bring in a cheap smartphone that lets more people connect to the Internet than ever before. They used in-country technology and production to lower costs. The government supports an extensive digital infrastructure that makes have a smart phone an asset in a person’s life no matter who they are. Many of the phones are also underwritten by governments and agencies to promote healthcare and education initiatives as well.

Would it work in America?

While there may be a lot of smartphones in America, there aren’t a lot when you really look at the distribution of phones and population. In fact, feature phone sales are on the rise while smart phone sales have slowed noticeably. A lot of that has to do with the cost of a smart phone. The pay-per-month plans require you to buy the phone outright, while annual plans finance the phone with a hefty finance rate. The real issue is in how people use cell phones in America. While in many other countries they are a source of news and education, as well as a way to connect to services; smartphones are still mainly served by the infotainment industry in the US. It would take a concerted effort to create a demand for a cheap smartphone in the country.

What stands in its way?

It would take a combined effort of industry and government to create a digital infrastructure within the US that supported viable information online, plus in-country manufacturing of the device to begin to offer what is so easily available to everyone in other countries. The marketing company experts and digital agencies of the world will need to get on board. The focus of the infrastructure would be service oriented, tying into various networks to help people navigate life better. More extensive health networks and literacy efforts could be enhanced with smart phone access. The main thing that stands in the way of all of that is a lack of resources. There aren’t dedicated monies to develop such programs along modern programming, and there also isn’t money or means to affordably manufacture components stateside as well.

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