Mozilla is committed to an open platform called the ‘Web,’ which works across various devices. This was the message of Mozilla Foundation chair Mitchell Baker when he addressed an audience of 200 media personnel at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain last Sunday, February 23.
Mozilla COO Jay Sullivan agreed. He reiterated that the company wants to bring more people online. Thus, Mozilla has entered into a partnership with Shanghai, China-based Spreadtrum. The goal is to design and create devices costing just about $25 each.
To this, Mr. Sullivan predicted that the efficiency of the partnership could possibly create a ‘flood’ consisting of $25-smartphones. Such cheap devices could possibly be delivered directly to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) all over the world for further efficiency.
7 new phones
Mozilla has just unveiled seven new commercial mobile phones that are run by its operating system. Those new handsets would eventually be available globally, except in the US. As expected, those are targeted more towards the emerging markets.
Such devices, more known as Firefox phones, are not gaining popularity in the US but they are being launched in other countries. Among the main markets where such handsets are launched are Hungary, Colombia, Venezuela, India, Brazil, Greece, and Indonesia.
Those markets have one thing in common. Obviously, those are currently being underserved by the bigger players like Apple Inc and Samsung Electronics, which usually face off in more lucrative markets.
Logically, Mozilla sees the opportunities in those areas. According to Mediacells, a UK-based research company, Chinese and Indian mobile users alone are estimated to buy over 500 million units of smartphones this year. That figure would be equivalent to half of total global mobile sales. For about 80% of those buyers, or 400 million, the purchase would be their first ever smartphones.
Better Firefox phones
Many analysts noted that based on the Firefox phones launched in this year’s mobile congress, such devices from Mozilla are getting better. It should be noted that ZTE and Alcatel have both announced a number of dual-core devices during the show.
The ZTE Open II and the ZTE Open C comes with Snapdragon and 2-megapixel to 3-megapixel shooters. Alcatel has launched three OneTouch models, each one with dual-core processors—Alcatel One Touch Fire S, Fire C, and Fire E. It should be noted that the Fire series consists of top-of-the-line device with 4G LTE connectivity and an 8-megapixel camera, which are interesting for cheap phones.