During Qualcomm's analyst day yesterday, CEO Paul Jacobs said his company is winning on the low-cost handset front in India despite predictions that CDMA technology didn't have enough economies of scale to compete with GSM in that low-cost handset market. He said CDMA phones are outselling GSM phones in the sub-$50 range in India. Qualcomm raised its earnings forecast earlier this week primarily on stronger sales of low-end phones.
The GSM and CDMA communities have embarked on ultra low-cost handset strategies since the bulk of growth in the future will come from emerging markets. While the GSM community enjoys greater economies of scale, the CDMA Development Group has said that aggregating the features and options so that manufacturers only have to build to one particular skew is the key to low-cost handsets. How low can they go? In 2005, the bill-of-materials cost for a low-end handset was about $39, according to IC Insights. Handset vendors believe they can get that cost to about $25 or lower some time this year.
To read more about Qualcomm's penetration in the low-end handset market:
- check out this article from Dow Jones