Cell phone penetration in Japan, Korea, Europe and North America is quite obvious, with just about everyone — including grandmas and preschool aged children — rocking a mobile phone these days. Emerging markets, especially India, have yet to see that level of use and it is exactly there that several companies are hoping to expand their business. The biggest hurdle is price, and as such, the gold standard has been set at being able to sell a reasonably equipped cell phone for less than $50 USD.
It appears that CDMA-based phones are currently winning the race against GSM-based handsets in India, having more budget-friendly cell phones available and equipping them with extra functionality to boot. It appears that there are 21 CDMA2000 phones being sold for less than $50USD (wholesale) in India, compared to the 18 being offered by GSM providers. At the same time, the GSM handsets are still 2G, whereas the low-cost CDMA3000 phones “provide access to downloadable value-added services.”
I’d take this report with a pretty big grain of salt, however, because it was released by the CDMA Development Group (CDG), and you can’t tell me that they’re not trying to toot their own horn.