VENTURES AFRICA – Mozilla has announced that it will offer a new category of $25 smartphones for developing countries, adding that despite the close to pricing, the device still holds advance mobile capabilities.
California-based nonprofit Mozilla Foundation disclosed this on Sunday, ahead of the four-day Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, which opens on Monday.
“We are also enabling a whole new category of smartphone, priced around $25 (18 euros), that will bring even more people around the world online,” said Jay Sullivan, Mozilla chief operating officer.
The company also announced the launch of new devices operating with Firefox OS, including ZTE’s smartphones Open C and Open II.
The aim is to challenge the dominance of Apple’s iOS and Google’s android in the smartphone market, as it provides a cheaper alternative for smartphone users.
It has therefore signed a deal for a chipset which it said will pave way for the cheap phones. The deal which will see it partner with China-based fabless semiconductor company, Spreadtrum will herald the emergence of the low-cost Firefox OS-powered smartphones.
Since it launched in 2013, Firefox OS has expanded to 15 markets and is available on three devices. Mozilla however wants to expands its reach, and is now set to enter into the Latin American markets.
“Sales have far exceeded our targets. But 2013 was just the beginning. In 2014, we are differentiating our user experience and our partners are growing the portfolio of devices,” Sullivan said.
Mozilla claims global operators such as Telenor, Telkomsel and Indosat, and ecosystem partners such as Polytron, T2Mobile and Thundersoft are expressing interest.
Asides Latin America, Mozilla is expected to seek entry into the African mobile space and will leverage its low pricing model to secure a comfortable market share.