Mozilla to drive Firefox OS even lower with Spreadtrum partnership
Mozilla has partnered with the low-cost chipset vendor Spreadtrum, paving the way for smartphones running the web-based Firefox OS to be sold for $25. With this deal the company is aiming to harness the momentum it has had since the launch of its first commercial devices in July 2013 to push down into even lower price points.
The companies plan to leverage Firefox OS’s lightweight footprint and Spreadtrum’s expertise in designing low-cost chipsets to build a reference design for $25 handsets. This is a price point currently out of the reach of Google and even the lowest-cost Android handset vendors. It pushes Firefox OS into feature-phone territory, potentially signaling the beginning of the end for the category.
Ovum was somewhat skeptical of the chances for Firefox OS at the start of 2013, but it is hard not to be impressed by the progress it has made over the last 12 months. It has gone from having prototype software and no commercial hardware or solid commitments from mobile operators to having three devices available across 14 countries and seven mobile operators. Although the company is yet to announce any sales figures, it has revealed that there have been 425,000 unique visitors to the Firefox OS Marketplace since July 2013. This demonstrates at least a promising level of interest from consumers, and certainly more than the other alternative OSs can currently claim.
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