Here’s a CNBC Asia video that tells the story of the rise of the smartphone as a phone and computing device. I have been on this story for sometime. My view is that, just as computers have become super cheap (they were expensive once. I remember buying a top of the line Dell laptop in 1995 with a 75Mhz processor for $3800), phones will too. They are already headed in that direction. Soon, you will be able to get a smartphone with Internet, Bluetooth, 4G, Camera and all the bells and whistles for $0 with a 2-year contract.
Phones are already headed in this direction but smartphones are only 19% of the market. So there is a lot of growth in the smartphone space to come. The operating system running most of these cheap smartphones will be Android, Google’s free and open-source OS. Of course, just as with the PC makers, the handset makers may not benefit from these developments but Google may do since it isn’t in the hardware business but the Ad business.
The CNBC video gives you a better feel for the parts makers as well as the handset and OS competitors in this space.