Brits asking why iPhone is £549 and the A50S just £26?
The British newspaper, the Daily Mail, (see here) has managed to set the cat amongst the pigeons with a story about an Indian made handset – the Karbon A50S. It compared the Indian smartphone against Apple’s finest and asks why one is priced £549 and the other £26. It’s a bit like comparing the price of a Ford Ka against a Ferrari. However, if you make a much fairer comparison – such as against the excellent Moto G from Motorola – the huge price differential becomes clearer. So far, home spun handset makers from China and India have concentrated their efforts on Asia and Africa. But with France’s Wiko emerging as a force with a £60 handset, will the emerging handset makers turn their eyes towards developed countries?
It has to be said, if you look at the specifications for the A50S then you really are getting yourself a bargain.
For starters, it’s a regular Android Jelly Bean (v 4.3) device – not a forked version of Android like the Nokia X which can’t access the Google Play app store.
If you look at the handset’s specs you get features that were previously totally unknown in budget Android devices.
Such as both a front facing camera and a rear facing camera, too. And it’s got a dual-core processor to boot! Plus Wi-fi support.
You can see the full specs for the A50S on the ndtv gadgets web site here. It’s listed as costing RS 2,790.
GoMo News isn’t quite sure how Karbonn can get the price so low since in effect the component costs must be pretty close to £26 in the first place!
We know that the advent of SoCs [System on a Chip] is helping to push prices lower because fewer components are required.
However, we see it as a wake-up call to the existing smartphone vendors that they really do need to wake up and think seriously about the ways in which they are and can add value to their products.
Incidentally, if you want to import an A50S into the UK, this is what the Daily Mail says you have to do …
“First register with an Indian courier firm that provides a local postal address or ask a friend or relative in India to let them use their address.”
“The smartphone can then be bought online and delivered to the address in India and forwarded to the UK.”
“Sending a 2kg package – the approximate weight of the Karbonn handset – to the UK costs about £20 and because the phone is so cheap there is no import duty to pay.”
We’ve also seen the handset advertised on eBay in the USA for $79.