Browser developer Mozilla, unveiled a new smartphone prototype at the Mobile World Congress – a low-end Firefox OS powered device, that will cost just USD 25. The company aims at developing a budget smartphone, to cater to the developing markets in Asia, Latin America, Africa and so on.
As reported by CNET, Mozilla will partner with a Chinese chip designer — Spreadtrum Communications — to develop low-end phones with Firefox OS. “We’re working with them to break through the USD 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,” the carriers that in other parts of the world dominate distribution.
(Credit: Stephen Shankland/CNET)
The company acknowledges that the phones won’t be at par with Android and iOS devices available in the market, but it’ll certainly be above features phones that many people have to settle with, due to monetary constraints.
Mozilla already has a market presence in 15 countries with 4 hardware partners and 7 operators. Its existing models are Alcatel One Touch Fire, LG Fireweb and ZTE Open. Besides revealing this phone prototype, the company has also launched more phones at the conference in partnership with ZTE, Huawei and Alcatel.
While the mobile market holds a huge potential in the developing markets, such as India. The competition is high too. Despite of Mozilla’s presence in the country as a browser, the consumer inclination is more likely to be towards the existing mobile brands which will offer equally competent phones, even if at a higher price.
In addition to the affordable smartphones developed by the indigenous brands, Nokia’s Asha series and Samsung’s low-end smartphones, are already fighting to have the lion’s share in the market, and there is a high demand for inexpensive phones loaded with features. In such a scenario, apart from its phones being pocket-friendly, Mozilla will have to devise a strategy to reach the consumers and fulfil its target.
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