Micromax’s A116 Canvas HD probably won’t enter the US as a major smartphone on any carriers, but the ultra-affordable quad-core smartphone is signaling a future where smartphones may be cheaper than water.

The Canvas HD features a 5-inch 720p IPS display, a 1.2GHz Mediatek MT6589 quad-core processor, 1GB of RAM, 4GB of ROM, an 8MP rear camera, dual-SIM, and Android Jelly Bean (4.1.2) to boot.  So how much does all this cost?  For a mere $260, you can have yourself this off-contract quad-core Android smartphone.

We don’t have to dwell upon the fact that the MT6589 quad-core, based on the Cortex A7, is not what people may refer as “a beast of a chip”, but it is cheap solutions like these that will provide people of all backgrounds access to devices that are considered relatively up-to-date.

Currently, the Canvas HD is only available in India, and like the price would suggest, the phone sold out within hours of its launch.  Carriers in the US and other premium markets will probably push aside the Canvas HD, but as chip makers in China develop cheaper and increasingly viable solutions like the MT6589, we’ll probably see more and more affordable off-contract devices making their way to developed markets.