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Google's Schmidt predicts rise of £45 smart phone

When will smart phones cost what feature phones cost? Next year, says Google's chairman.

Smart phones will be as cheap as feature phones next year, reckons Google chairman Eric Schmidt.

The former CEO of Google, who's currently taking a turn in the chairman's chair, made the prediction after giving a speech at Mobile World Congress that was heavy on sci-fi predictions for the not-too-distant tech-fuelled future. Holographic robot-doubles anyone?

Schmidt also made a veiled dig at a certain litigious, phone-making rival -- telling an audience member: "We don't sue anyone, you get my drift?" Meoooow!

Asked by another member of the audience when Android will come to feature phones, Schmidt dismissed the category with a sneer -- retorting that: "A better question is when will smart phones cost what feature phones cost? And the answer to that is next year."

Schmidt reckons cheap as chips smart phones are inevitable thanks to Moore's Law -- the tech credo which famously states the number of transistors that can be crammed cheaply onto a silicon chip doubles roughly every two years. Power rises, prices decline and before you know it today's smart phones become tomorrow's feature phones.

The Google bigwig said the company has "many, many partners" who are beavering away trying to build basic smart phones with a simple screen and browser that are as cheap as £60.

"The eventual goal is to get to the $70 (£45) range," he added -- a whopping £454 cheaper than an iPhone 4S.

Once the £45 smart phone becomes a reality, it will be resold on the second hand market for barely over a tenner, said Schmidt. "All of a sudden there's huge new market," he added -- doubtless salivating at the prospect of the millions of new Android users Google will be able to amass.

Are you salivating at the prospect of a £45 Android smart phone? Let us know in the comments below or shout all about it on our Facebook page.

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