VeryKool is a new smartphone maker from San Diego, who’s making an Android smartphone called, Black Pearl, that you can get off-contract for only $230. The phone will have a quad core 1.2 Ghz processor (probably a quad core Cortex A7 one), 4.7″ IPS LCD with an HD resolution, 8MP camera on the back, 2.1 MP on the front, 2,000 mAh battery, and an FM radio app for local radio stations.
The phone will support HSPA+ 42 Mbps, but not LTE (dual band 850/1900). Storage seems quite low, as it states only 1 GB of internal storage on their website, presumably free for the user. The phone will be running Android 4.2.2, which is 2 versions behind the latest version of Android at this point.
While Android has made it very easy for even small companies to make decent devices with a great touch-enabled OS, that doesn’t necessarily mean these guys will find a lot of success in the market. It does depend which market they are targeting exactly, though, because for example Xiaomi has been very successful in China, but only because China is such a huge market, and most people there want to pay less for their phones, while still feeling like they bought a flagship device.
In US it might be harder to do the same thing, and beat very established brands like Apple, Samsung, LG, HTC and Motorola, unless they can really find a big enough opportunity in the prepay market, that the others aren’t targeting. But even there, the VeryKool Black Pearl will have to compete with the upcoming Moto G, which has better specs, comes with KitKat by default, and should cost only $200 in US. It’s also made by a much more known US company which puts it at a big advantage against a noname vendor like VeryKool.
The smartphone market is still growing, and there is still room for small players, but only if they target markets that aren’t dominated by large players yet, and they try to pack great specs into a good value phone. If they do that fast enough, they might become established local brands themselves, before the big players get a chance to dominate the market. Otherwise, in makers very crowded by big brands, it’s going to be hard to compete, since the big guys offer more known brands, and usually have better quality devices with better specs and prices (economies of scale).