Mozilla Will Launch a Low-end Firefox OS Smartphone to India.
With its sights on India’s massive number of feature phone users, Mozilla has announced two new hardware partnerships to launch its Firefox OS smartphone within the country.
Mozilla stated it will launch the very first Firefox OS handsets in in India “in the next few month”, with the help over two India mobile device partners, Spice and Intex.
The brand new Firefox OS device shall join the new low-cost smartphones such as the Moto G, Nokia X, and BlackBerry’s Z3, as well as handsets from local vendors such as Micromax, competing to encourage India’s feature phone user base to migrate towards low-end smartphones. According to information provided by the IDC, smartphone sales have increase by 18 percent year on year in India during 2013. At the same time, around 78 percent of the 250 million handsets sold in India last year were still feature phones.
Mozilla had previously announced a partnership with Chinese chipmaker Spreadtrum this February to bring the smartphone costing under $25 to markets such as India and Indonesia.
“The platform [Firefox OS] will give us an edge in upgrading buyers from feature phones to smartphones while making it affordable for the mass market,” said Sanjay Kalirona, business head of Intex’s mobile unit.
At the moment, Intel sells a variety of Android smartphones between 4,000r (US$67) and 9,000r (US$151), competing with the likes of Nokia’s recently-launched Android-based Nokia X, which retailer around $140.
CEO of spice, Dilip Modi, stated the he has” high expectations” for Firefox OS device in India.
Mozilla hasn’t announced the price of its upcoming Indian smartphones, however, Spreadtrum vice president Xiaomao Xiao’s stated that they would define “a new level in smartphone affordability”.
Mozilla has also manage to pen down a new partnership with Taiwan’s largest operator Chunghwa Telecom. The operator in Gebruary partnered up with Chinese smartphone upstart Xiaomi to lunch the Mi3.
Mozilla now has 22 operator partners across the globe, including Telefonica, China Unicom, KDDI, and SingTel.