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Pixel 4a - $349/C$479 for S730G/6GB/128GB

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For a device being viable, the manufacturer needs to cover both unit costs and fixed costs. The more units you sell, the less are the fixed costs noticable per unit.


The fixed costs include:

* R&D costs

* Certification costs

* Manufacturing preparation costs – if you want to mass-produce PCBs, plastic components etc., you need to produce some masks, which also isn't cheap.

Once this is done, I see some effects:

* More SKUs. There are at least 2 different  (QWERTY and QWERTZ), which can make the logistics more complex. After all, F(x)rec has reportedly paused production of the QWERTZ model.

* More SKUs also implies more risk of having some units on stock that can't be sold for a reasonable price.

* Those two phones would likely compete each other, further cutting the F(x)tec's profit and increasing the minimum viable price for both devices.

* At the end of the day, the phone could be cheaper just marginally. But the small price difference would likely make the cannibalization even more noticable.


Maybe there is some place for a different keyboard phone by F(x)tec, but lower price is probably not enough justification. There might be some other ways that can reduce cannibalization, but also increase R&D costs:

a. As you have mentioned, there can be also a smaller variant. I am still not much sure it would succeed, the cannibalization rate still seems to be pretty high.

b. Vertical slider like BlackBerry Priv.

c. Fixed (non-sliding) keyboard like on KeyOne or Key2.

d. Something like Nokia 9110.

e. Some clamshell phone.

I am not sure what variants would be successful, I just see a lower risk if cannibalization there.

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Well, I would also prefer a portrait keyboard, maybe rather non-slider at the cost of having a smaller screen. But even a Priv-like slider could be better.

Nokia 9110 was an interesting concept, essentially trying to offer the best for both portrait and landscape. It would be cool to have both portrait and landscape QWERTY and to choose the best one for the current situation, but this would take some space and it might have been some even more niche product than the Pro1...

But I don't expect any new model anytime soon. You can see many people waiting for production of the current Pro1 phones...


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