Mozilla and Spreadtrum get closer to $25 Firefox OS smartphone

The two companies are working with Indian smartphone makers Intex and Spice

This is what the ultra-low-cost" Firefox OS smartphones will look like

This is what the ultra-low-cost" Firefox OS smartphones will look like

Mozilla Foundation and chip maker Spreadtrum have partnered with two Indian vendors to launch ultra-low-cost smartphones in the next few months. Spreadtrum said the phones could cost just US$25.

The reference design that will make the smartphones a reality is now ready, and sample devices will be demonstrated this week at Mobile Asia Expo. Mozilla and Spreadtrum announced plans to develop the low-cost Firefox OS-based phones in February.

Firefox OS is built around applications written in HTML5, and Mozilla is pitching it as more open and better suited to low-end smartphones than Android or iOS.

The first products based on the reference design will come from Indian smartphone makers Intex and Spice, Mozilla said on Tuesday. Exactly what the smartphones will cost remains to be seen as Mozilla didn't quote the $25 price tag in a blog post about the plans.

Reference designs lower the bar for developing a smartphone by providing the components and resources manufacturers need to quickly and cheaply put out devices. They are the main reason smartphones have become much cheaper in the last couple of years.

The reference design Mozilla and Spreadtrum have developed lets Intex and Spice put out phones with a 3.5-inch screen, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, an FM radio and a camera.

Mozilla isn't alone in hoping India will be open to smartphone OSes other than Apple's iOS and Google's Android.

When Microsoft announced an effort to bring down the cost of Windows Phones, Indian manufacturers Karbonn and Xolo were among its new partners.

A recent report from telecommunications equipment vendor Ericsson highlighted why India is such an interesting market. The country added 28 million subscribers during the first quarter, the largest increase of any national market. Smartphone use in India starts from a low base, though, with just 6 percent of Indians expected to own one in the first half of the year, according to Strategy Analytics.

On Tuesday, Mozilla also announced that two new Firefox phones, the ZTE Open II and Alcatel Onetouch Fire E, will start shipping soon. Chunghwa Telecom, Taiwan's largest operator, has been added to the roster of operators backing Firefox OS, as well.

Send news tips and comments to mikael_ricknas@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags mobilesmartphonesconsumer electronicsMobile OSesMozilla Foundation

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Mikael Ricknäs

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Bang and Olufsen Beosound Stage - Dolby Atmos Soundbar

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

ASUS ROG, ACRONYM partner for Special Edition Zephyrus G14

Learn more >

Sony WF-1000XM3 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Nakamichi Delta 100 3-Way Hi Fi Speaker System

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit for Nintendo Switch

Learn more >

Philips Sonicare Diamond Clean 9000 Toothbrush

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

SunnyBunny Snowflakes 20 LED Solar Powered Fairy String

Learn more >

Teac 7 inch Swivel Screen Portable DVD Player

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?