Mozilla sets sights on $25 smartphone with Firefox OS

BARCELONA, Spain—Mozilla is partnering with Shanghai-based Spreadtrum to help drive down the costs of chipsets for smartphones and make the $25 (€18) price point a reality.  In addition, the company announced that its Firefox OS will expand to 12 more markets (on top of the existing 15 markets). Those new markets initially include Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panama, Argentina and Ecuador. However, the company said it will also focus on Africa and Asia later in 2014.

The ZTE Open C is a new smartphone running Mozilla's Firefox OS.

Speaking at a press event in conjunction with the 2014 Mobile World Congress, Mozilla COO Jay Sullivan said that the company's partnership with fabless chip-set maker Spreadtrum will make reference designs for smartphones faster, easier and less expensive. "I believe this will bring a flood of $25 smartphones," Sullivan said. "The point of all this is that we are trying to bring people online—whether they have a feature phone and will be getting a smartphone or people that didn't have a feature phone."

In addition, Sullivan said that the company has made a reference phone with a dual-core processor and 4.5-inch screen that will allow developers to test new Firefox OS features and apps against different memory configurations.

The newest Firefox OS devices that will be part of the Firefox OS family include the ZTE Open C and Open II, Alcatel One Touch Fire C, Fire E, Fire S and Fire 7 tablet, which all use Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) Snapdragon chipsets.

The company also used the press conference as a forum to tout its partners device launches – such as Deutsche Telekom's announcement that  two Firefox OS smartphones will be available in Croatia, the Czech Republic, Macedonia and Montenegro.

Mozilla executives also reconfirmed the open source OS' plans to continue to target emerging markets. One of the key features of Firefox has been its support from global operators, including América Móvil, China Unicom, Deutsche Telekom, Etisalat, Hutchison Whampoa's Three Group, KDDI, KT, MegaFon, Qtel, SingTel, Smart, Telecom Italia, Telefónica, Telenor, TMN and VimpelCom.

For more:
- see this Mozilla blog post
- see this release
- see this release

Related articles:
Mozilla backs away from commercial U.S. launch of Firefox OS
Firefox OS-based ZTE Open sells out on eBay, but platform faces tough road
Firefox OS-based ZTE Open going on sale in U.S. via eBay
Mozilla's Firefox Marketplace teams with Bango for operator billing
Mozilla pledges quarterly Firefox OS feature releases

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