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ARM wants to build a $20 smartphone before the end of the year

Chip designer thinks this goal will be possible “in just a few months.”

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While Apple’s market share and command of the market with its high-margin iPhone could once dictate market prices, in a post-Xiaomi and ZenFone world this is no longer the case. Smartphone prices are falling dramatically, and now a high-quality smartphone can be purchased for $199 off-contract instead of $499 higher.

But ARM thinks that prices can go even lower than that. At a presentation during its ARM Tech Day, ARM announced that it’s targeting the $20 price point within the next few months.

Granted these smartphones will barely be “smart” at all. ARM doesn’t plan to target mature or enthusiast markets with these phones, but rather the developing world — a rapidly expanding market. ARM is betting big on this market driving the next decade of its growth: in 2013 the smartphone and tablet market shipped 1.3 billion devices, but in 2018 that number is expected to jump to 2.5 billion thanks to the developing world.

It certainly is exciting times in the ARM world. The company has this market virtually locked up, unless someone can beat it on price. Which unless Intel comes in with even more aggressive contra revenue subsidies won’t likely be the case.

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