$25 Firefox OS Smartphones To Be Released In India

Ultra low-cost Firefox OS smartphones seek to tempt feature phone owners in emerging markets

Mozilla says the first Firefox OS smartphones based on the turnkey reference design revealed at Mobile World Congress (MWC) are set to be released in India later this year.

The turnkey announced by the non-profit organisation and Spreadtrum is now available to manufacturers and could eventually lead to smartphones running the open source web-based Firefox OS available for just $25.

Indian operators Spice and Intex say they will bring ultra-low cost devices to market in the next few months, hoping that even cheaper smartphones will convince consumers to upgrade from a feature phone.

Firefox OS smartphones

Firefox OS MWC 2014“Spreadtrum and Mozilla’s turnkey solution defines a new level in smartphone affordability,” says Xiaomao Xiao, vice president of software development at Spreadtrum. “Together with handset makers, we can now make the smartphone experience accessible to more consumers globally.”

Earlier this year at MWC, Andreas Gal, now CTO of Mozilla, told TechWeekEurope that the $25 turnkey reference design would offer a “full smartphone experience” that would compete directly with feature phones. However he admitted that it isn’t targeted at North America or Western Europe and is intended for emerging markets.

Mozilla is using the ongoing Mobile Asia Expo in Shanghai to show off two Firefox OS devices revealed at MWC, the ZTE Open II and Alcatel OneTouch Fire, both of which will go on sale this summer. The organisation has also revealed that Taiwanese operator Chunghwa Telecom has pledged its support to Firefox OS, bring the total number of operator partners to 22, including Telefonica and Deutsche Telekom.

“With more accessible Firefox OS phones coming to India soon, and the addition of Chunghwa Telecom, Intex and Spice to our team of global partners, it is clear that momentum for Firefox OS is continuing to accelerate,” claims Li Gong, Chief Operating Officer of Mozilla.

Last month, Mozilla announced it was accepting pre-orders for the Firefox OS Flame, a mid-tier reference smartphone designed for developers to test their applications in a real environment.

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Firefox OS MWC 2014

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Alcatel Firefox OS