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MWC: Smartphone makers courting cost-conscious consumers


The official launch of Samsungs flagship Galaxy S5 might have been the event that has so far garnered the most media coverage, but the stars of this years Mobile World Congress will be the mid-range and low-cost smartphone handsets on show for the first time this week in Barcelona. NPD Groups latest data on the state of the smartphone market shows that even in affluent America, where handset ownership has passed the 50 percent mark and a huge swathe of the population is already locked into long-term contracts and handset renewal cycles, all of the action and demand is at the low end of the market. Demand for low-cost and mid-tier smartphones jumped by 10 percentage points over the past year and now represents 31 percent of the US market. Thats why, as well as unveiling an incredible premium phone (the Xperia Z2) and equally pricy Z2 tablet, Sony also used its press conference at MWC to launch the Xperia M2 — a mid-range handset with a premium camera and qHD 4.8-inch display that supports 4G/LTE and will go on sale for less than €220.

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