BARCELONA, Spain--Orange detailed plans to deploy a $40 (€35) smartphone package in 13 markets in Africa and the Middle East, as the operator seeks to expand mobile Internet access and usage in the region
BARCELONA, Spain--Mozilla is teaming with major operators like Verizon Wireless to bring Firefox OS devices to developed countries where it currently has very little traction. The first Firefox OS phones sold by Verizon will likely hit the U.S. market in 2016.
In the next few weeks Google and its partners will expand the search giant's Android One phone initiative beyond India to the neighboring countries of Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka. The world's first Android One phone was unveiled in September for around $105, and the wider program represents Google's most intensive effort yet to not only expand Android to entry-level phones in emerging markets also to control the user experience.
CAPE TOWN--The cost of smartphones in Africa remains a barrier to bringing more people online in many countries even though unit prices have come down, in large part due to the high taxes levied on devices by some governments.
Mozilla said phones running its web-based Firefox OS will soon launch in Africa, expanding into a major smartphone growth region at a time when competing smartphone platforms are targeting the entry-level market. Meanwhile, Mozilla said it is partnering with the GSMA to help consumers in emerging markets develop locally relevant, non-English Web content.
As expected, Google announced the first phones as part of its Android One program, and the software giant is teaming up with local device makers in India to produce smartphones that cost around $105 without subsidies. The Android One initiative is Google's boldest attempt yet to increase smartphone penetration in emerging markets and ensure that Android maintains its firm grip on the low-cost smartphone market.
Google sent out invitations for a media event in India on Sept. 15, according to gadget website NDTV, where it is expected to formally announce the first low-cost smartphones as part of its Android One initiative.
Mozilla's announcement that it would bring to market a smartphone costing around $25 running the Firefox OS is coming to fruition. Intex Technologies released the Cloud FX smartphone as the first Firefox OS smartphone available in India, costing 1,999 rupees, or around $33.
Strategy Analytics added its voice to warnings that smart device shipment growth is slowing, noting that increases in smartphone shipments in the current quarter are at their lowest level for five years.
Microsoft, Mozilla, the Tizen Association and others are moving to lower-cost hardware in an effort to gain share in emerging markets. However, Google's Android One software and hardware reference design program could undercut those efforts by enhancing the Android experience on cheap devices in the developing world.