At least a half-dozen of the world's most recognizable technology brands spent the week highlighting their low-end smartphones targeted at emerging markets. Smartphone growth is expected to slow this year as the devices start to reach saturation in developed countries in North America and Europe, according to research firm IDC. So the mobile industry is looking toward China, Latin America and other underdeveloped parts of the world for more headroom.
Surely, the profit margins aren't as attractive, but companies often look at emerging markets as an investment in the future. The thinking goes: If your brand becomes big in, say, Indonesia, those people will be willing to pay more for your phones when they have the money.
Basically, “hello, and welcome to our ecosystem,” from everybody but Apple.