Apple, Samsung, Challenged by Cheap Chinese Android Phones | MIT Technology Review: "But the real reason for the switchover to smartphones was that last year large chip makers, including the Taiwan-based MediaTek and Spreadtrum, started offering “turn-key” systems: phone designs plus a set of chips with Android and other software preloaded. Spreadtrum says it may sell 100 million units this year. Each chipset costs $5 to $10, depending on the size of a phone’s screen and other features. In total, Liang says, his cost to make a smartphone is about $40. He says he can manufacture as many as 30,000 smartphones a day for brands such as Konka Mobile and for telecom operators like China Unicom. In the United States, a smartphone’s high cost is generally masked by wireless companies, which discount them steeply if consumers agree to a contract. In China that happens as well. Liang says his phones retail for about $65 or $70 but can cost only $35 with a contract."
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