Mozilla announced plans for a lineup of Firefox OS-powered smartphones aimed at developing markets, by showing off a prototype for a £15 ($25) smartphone at the MWC 2014. Yes you read that right. Just £15!
The company, in partnership with Chinese low-cost chip maker Spreadtrum Communications, is planning to set a new bar in the entry-level smartphone space.
“We’re working with them to break through the $50 barrier, which is hard,” Mozilla Chief Technology Officer Brendan Eich told CNET. “This is going to be for a set of [sales] channels in Asia that do not involve operators.”
Analysts said that the low-cost device might be a step down from the high-end smartphones, but would appeal to the sorts of people who currently buy cheap ‘feature’ phones.
“Spreadtrum has announced WCDMA and EDGE turnkey reference designs for Firefox OS as well as the industry’s first chipset for US$25 smartphones, the SC6821, that redefines the entry level for smartphones in key growth markets,” wrote the company.
“These solutions are already creating a stir, with global operators such as Telenor, Telkomsel and Indosat, and ecosystem partners such as Polytron, T2Mobile and Thundersoft expressing interest.”
Mozilla also announced that Firefox OS will be available in 15 markets with first phones debuting in countries like Hungary, Venezuela, Colombia, Brazil, and Greece.
The company said that it is expanding to additional form factors, as partners and contributors to optimise the software for TVs and added: “In January, Panasonic announced a partnership with Mozilla to release next-generation smart TVs powered by Firefox OS.”
Mozilla’s partners Alcatel with 3 new handsets and ZTE with 2 new handsets are both expanding their range of Firefox OS phones. Alcatel also showed off a new tablet, the One Touch Fire 7, being developed with Firefox OS. Huawei, a new partner, also revealed its first Firefox OS phone Y300.