Could Karbonn’s £26 Handset Be The Dark Horse Of The Phone Market?
There is no denying that the likes of Apple and Samsung have pushed technology into incredible new areas over the last few years with their smartphone ranges. The enormous ways that smartphones have impacted our lives are so well-documented at this point that they more or less go without saying. However, while they have managed to solve arduous tasks with the click of a touch-screen, there is one problem that smartphones have not managed to overcome — the price. The most recent incarnation of Samsung’s device, the Galaxy S5, is at least £400 to purchase off the shelf. Meanwhile, even the most basic model of the upcoming iPhone 6 is rumoured to cost around £550.
It is for precisely this reason that there has been a boom in the low-end smartphone market recently. The aforementioned Samsung, for instance, has seen a slump in sales because their Chinese market has decided to seek out budget alternatives. The mobile network EE, whose Kestrel smartphone has just been released for a small £99, are hoping to achieve the same kind of success here in the United Kingdom.
However, there is a fierce new competitor in the low-end game that threatens to shake up the market even more: the Karbonn A50S. The device is a budget smartphone that has just gone on sale in India and costs only £26. To put that into perspective, you could buy 21 Karbonn A50S devices for the cost of a standard iPhone 5S. British customers can import it for a small fee, and because it’s so cheap there is no duty charge
The Karbonn A50S smartphone’s specs are fairly bog-standard. The storage is limited to 512 MB which can be upgraded to 32 GB with an SD card. The 1.2 GHz dual-core processor and 256 MB RAM will be able to handle basic apps like email, Twitter and Facebook but not much else. There is only a slow 2G connection for internet unless you connect to wi-fi and the screen’s display is just 480 x 320 pixels too.
However, the beauty of the Karbonn A50S smartphone is that it is not built for people who care about the highest specs. Nor is it meant to appeal to those keen to keep up with the latest tech trends. This is a smartphone for those who want the very basics that the handset can offer: simple browsing, some social media, and text and phone capabilities. No longer do people who have no interest in, say, high definition cameras or lightning fast internet have to pay hundreds of pounds just for the bare essentials of a smartphone.
The Karbonn A50S takes on the major problem that smartphones have — the price tag. But will the cheap £26 cost eventually allow it to take on the higher-end competition such as the iPhone or Samsung Galaxy? Or will people reject the low costs in favour of a smartphone that has the best features? Only time will tell.