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Nvidia Taking Kai Approach Down to Cheaper Smartphones

By - Source: MyDrivers.com | B 12 comments

Dubbed Kai, the tablet reference platform pairs Nvidia's Tegra 3 quad-core system with lower cost components. It could also make its way into a much more compact form factor, MyDrivers.com speculates.

There is not much detail available and there is no information on whether this move is geographically limited. According to the article, however, Nvidia is apparently working with a "number of Chinese mainland manufacturers." That said, if were Nvidia able to bring down the cost of a smartphone from the current contract-less $599 and $699 devices, the company could have an opportunity to branch out into markets that its rivals such as Qualcomm, Samsung and Intel cannot reach at this time. Additionally, a rather unique platform approach could accelerate cooperation with Microsoft for Windows 8 phones.

The good news for the consumer is, of course, that there seems to be plenty of competition and traction for innovation in the smartphone market.

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  • 11 Hide
    willard , July 11, 2012 3:07 PM
    TheKurrganI've never understood why they are so expensive off contract.

    Because people are dumb and view the contract price as the actual price. They don't realize that the other $450 of the cost is baked into their contract.

    Subsidized phones are a terrible, terrible thing for consumers. It results in people grossly undervaluing their phones, happily accepting $100 for a one year old phone that actually cost them $650. It also encourages people to treat their phones as disposable. Further, it locks you into a contract and allows carriers to get away with murder, because it's too expensive for you to go anywhere else.

    Margins on phones, especially Apple's phones, are stupidly high because the carriers hide the cost from you. The 32GB iPhone 4S costs about $200 to make, but costs $750 from Apple.

    Subsidies are only good for the manufacturers. The sooner consumers figure this out, the better.
  • 10 Hide
    southernshark , July 11, 2012 2:33 PM
    These smart phones have always been way overpriced, which is obvious when you look at what is in a 200 dollar tablet. I hope this happens because I don't do contracts (and can't really because I work internationally).
  • 10 Hide
    freggo , July 11, 2012 2:52 PM
    $500+ for a phone is kinda ridiculous in these difficult economic times, isn't it.
Other Comments
  • 10 Hide
    southernshark , July 11, 2012 2:33 PM
    These smart phones have always been way overpriced, which is obvious when you look at what is in a 200 dollar tablet. I hope this happens because I don't do contracts (and can't really because I work internationally).
  • 6 Hide
    mayne92 , July 11, 2012 2:49 PM
    southernsharkThese smart phones have always been way overpriced, which is obvious when you look at what is in a 200 dollar tablet. I hope this happens because I don't do contracts (and can't really because I work internationally).

    I couldn't agree more!!!
  • 10 Hide
    freggo , July 11, 2012 2:52 PM
    $500+ for a phone is kinda ridiculous in these difficult economic times, isn't it.
  • 7 Hide
    TheKurrgan , July 11, 2012 2:57 PM
    I've never understood why they are so expensive off contract. When you figure that an iPod has nearly the same internal components as an iPhone (minus the radio obviously) and they sell for 300, you're not convincing me the cellular portion of the device makes up the difference. Not to mention, samsung and google have found a way to sell the GNex for 350, unlocked in all its glory for 350..
    I smell BS, of course we all knew that any way.
  • 11 Hide
    willard , July 11, 2012 3:07 PM
    TheKurrganI've never understood why they are so expensive off contract.

    Because people are dumb and view the contract price as the actual price. They don't realize that the other $450 of the cost is baked into their contract.

    Subsidized phones are a terrible, terrible thing for consumers. It results in people grossly undervaluing their phones, happily accepting $100 for a one year old phone that actually cost them $650. It also encourages people to treat their phones as disposable. Further, it locks you into a contract and allows carriers to get away with murder, because it's too expensive for you to go anywhere else.

    Margins on phones, especially Apple's phones, are stupidly high because the carriers hide the cost from you. The 32GB iPhone 4S costs about $200 to make, but costs $750 from Apple.

    Subsidies are only good for the manufacturers. The sooner consumers figure this out, the better.
  • 2 Hide
    teh_chem , July 11, 2012 7:51 PM
    willardBecause people are dumb and view the contract price as the actual price. They don't realize that the other $450 of the cost is baked into their contract.Subsidized phones are a terrible, terrible thing for consumers. It results in people grossly undervaluing their phones, happily accepting $100 for a one year old phone that actually cost them $650. It also encourages people to treat their phones as disposable. Further, it locks you into a contract and allows carriers to get away with murder, because it's too expensive for you to go anywhere else.Margins on phones, especially Apple's phones, are stupidly high because the carriers hide the cost from you. The 32GB iPhone 4S costs about $200 to make, but costs $750 from Apple. Subsidies are only good for the manufacturers. The sooner consumers figure this out, the better.

    That's great and all, but the flaw in your logic is that if a consumer doesn't get a "plan-subsidized" phone through their provider, they still pay the same monthly fees as someone who does get a "plan-subsidized" phone. So in the end, the consumer who bought retail ends up paying more (unless they did so in order to avoid a lengthy contract extension or something like that).

    I think service providers and consumer hardware should be entirely separate from one another (from the consumer, that is). Sell a phone as a phone, not as a component on my account/network, and please don't make people go through their service provider for hardware (and hardware problems).

    I use Virgin Mobile, who luckily doesn't do any of this since their plans are pre-paid or pay-as-you-go. The adequate LG Optimus Elite (nothing to brag about, but does everything I need and want in a smartphone) only cost me $150.
  • 0 Hide
    willard , July 11, 2012 8:13 PM
    teh_chemThat's great and all, but the flaw in your logic is that if a consumer doesn't get a "plan-subsidized" phone through their provider, they still pay the same monthly fees as someone who does get a "plan-subsidized" phone.

    There are options other than Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, etc. that are much cheaper. Like I mentioned, you get locked in with a contract. The big carriers are not the best value, they just make it as hard as possible to switch and reward you up front with a cheaper phone for agreeing to pay their higher rates for two years.

    For example, it's $110 for a single smartphone to get unlimited everything on Sprint. $120 on AT&T and you only get 5GB of data. Cricket? $55.
  • 0 Hide
    eddieroolz , July 11, 2012 9:32 PM
    Quote:
    The good news for the consumer is, of course, that there seems to be plenty of competition and traction for innovation in the smartphone market.


    In the Android smartphone market, there's only winners and losers as non-Samsung companies lose due to the punishing product cycles, rapidly devaluating prices and lower and lower margins.
  • 1 Hide
    zodiac321 , July 11, 2012 11:53 PM
    willardThere are options other than Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, etc. that are much cheaper. Like I mentioned, you get locked in with a contract. The big carriers are not the best value, they just make it as hard as possible to switch and reward you up front with a cheaper phone for agreeing to pay their higher rates for two years.For example, it's $110 for a single smartphone to get unlimited everything on Sprint. $120 on AT&T and you only get 5GB of data. Cricket? $55.


    There is one flawed logic with your statement. Prepaid carriers, like Virgin, Boost, and even Verizon's prepaid service, does cost less. The only issue is the fact you only limited to the native coverage, and have no access to roaming. Verizon's postpaid map is what they advertise, but, their prepaid map is actually drastically smaller in terms of coverage, especially in the western US. While I do believe T-Mobile is the only carrier offering free roaming to postpaid, it is the only one, and an option many will not choose.

    Another option many don't think about is customer service. Sprint, Verizon and AT&T all will have better customer service than Boost or even Cricket. One example is Sprint's offering of the Airave for free to people who complain about poor service where they live (I believe Verizon does something similar called "Extended Network"). Boost nor cricket will offer something like this, even at a price. Why? they're prepaid.
  • 3 Hide
    altriss , July 12, 2012 12:47 AM
    teh_chemThat's great and all, but the flaw in your logic is that if a consumer doesn't get a "plan-subsidized" phone through their provider, they still pay the same monthly fees as someone who does get a "plan-subsidized" phone. So in the end, the consumer who bought retail ends up paying more (unless they did so in order to avoid a lengthy contract extension or something like that).I think service providers and consumer hardware should be entirely separate from one another (from the consumer, that is). Sell a phone as a phone, not as a component on my account/network, and please don't make people go through their service provider for hardware (and hardware problems).I use Virgin Mobile, who luckily doesn't do any of this since their plans are pre-paid or pay-as-you-go. The adequate LG Optimus Elite (nothing to brag about, but does everything I need and want in a smartphone) only cost me $150.

    In fact in France we have a service provider who is called "Free". And you have separated services to buy phones and service. And It's far less expensive than the other! Unlimited call+text+internet monthly cost 20 euros and consumer can cancel without extra fee in a month.
    And on the other hand, you can buy phone from them, but the phones cost the same price than everywhere else as they cannot change that point.
    It's pretty damn well working right now.
  • 1 Hide
    dishayu , July 12, 2012 8:25 AM
    teh_chemThat's great and all, but the flaw in your logic is that if a consumer doesn't get a "plan-subsidized" phone through their provider, they still pay the same monthly fees as someone who does get a "plan-subsidized" phone. So in the end, the consumer who bought retail ends up paying more (unless they did so in order to avoid a lengthy contract extension or something like that).I think service providers and consumer hardware should be entirely separate from one another (from the consumer, that is). Sell a phone as a phone, not as a component on my account/network, and please don't make people go through their service provider for hardware (and hardware problems).I use Virgin Mobile, who luckily doesn't do any of this since their plans are pre-paid or pay-as-you-go. The adequate LG Optimus Elite (nothing to brag about, but does everything I need and want in a smartphone) only cost me $150.


    Thank Higgs-Boson, we don't have this atrocity of bundling phones and service plans here in India. (Very few operators do it but they have service only plans as their main offering).

    I bought an unlocked phone and I have a service plan which gives me free unlimited everything (calls and texts within the country + data) for 1199 INR (~ 22 USD). Also we are not charged for incoming calls. The only catch is that they impose a 128k speed limit after 1GB data usage and i have to pay more (around 5$ per GB) if i want to not have that speed limit.
  • 0 Hide
    ojas , July 12, 2012 3:59 PM
    dishayuThank Higgs-Boson, we don't have this atrocity of bundling phones and service plans here in India. (Very few operators do it but they have service only plans as their main offering).I bought an unlocked phone and I have a service plan which gives me free unlimited everything (calls and texts within the country + data) for 1199 INR (~ 22 USD). Also we are not charged for incoming calls. The only catch is that they impose a 128k speed limit after 1GB data usage and i have to pay more (around 5$ per GB) if i want to not have that speed limit.

    Try reliance netconnect, i was looking at their "my best plan"...don't know if i missed anything but they're only charging 20p/GB after 1GB. Highest bill you can ever get is Rs.1250. I may be a bit off (can't remember so well) but i'm sure about that 20p/GB figure. Looks sweet.