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Our prediction: $50 smartphones will disrupt tech ecosystem

China's Xiaomi announced new low-priced smartphones in September 2013 in Beijing. Such supercheap smartphones look destined to arrive in Japan soon.

TOKYO -- Super-cheap smartphones are poised to bring big changes to the global technology industry.

    Apple sparked the smartphone revolution with the release of the iPhone in 2007. As much more affordable handsets become available, this year could mark the revolution's second phase. Smartphones now cost much less to make because their advanced electronic components have become commodities.

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