With smartphone ownership levels reaching saturation point in developed countries, businesses need a new market to tap for continued growth. The obvious solution of course, is the developing world: the billions of potential customers living in Asia, South America and Africa, who are still using outdated feature phones. But with every obvious solution, there is an equally obvious problem: cost.
Last month we were treated to the Moto E: a smartphone with mid-level specifications, at a price point attractive for those who previously could never afford a smartphone. However, now Mozilla, the company behind popular browser Firefox, is taking smartphones to a whole new level of affordability.
The phone will retail for the astonishingly low price of $25.
The new device will retail for the astonishingly low price of $25. Made for the billion-person Indian market, the phone is being made in collaboration with Spreadtrum Communications. This Chinese company is supplying Mozilla with the low cost chipsets which make such a revolutionarily low price possible. Also adding to the cost reductions, Mozilla will reportedly rely on two Indian manufacturing companies, Intex and Spice, to fabricate the phones locally.
The phone itself will feature the company’s own in-house Firefox OS. This new operating system is designed for use on low-end phones, and features a strong emphasis on a completely open-source ecosystem. Regarding the operating system, Dr Li Gong, COO of Mozilla explained in a press release:
“Mozilla is dedicated to putting the power of the Web in people’s hands, and Firefox OS frees consumers, developers, mobile providers and manufacturers from the limitations and restrictions of proprietary platforms,”
Regardless of the benefits of the operating system, the $25 price point will place the phone on par with feature phones in terms of cost. Mozilla believes that the increased functionality of its smartphones will be all that is necessary to convince poorer customers to buy into its Firefox OS platform.
While we are yet to the specifications or indeed a very detailed looked at the phone, price point alone will be enough to ensure sales. Indeed this could very well be the device that opens up the smartphone to the rest of the world.
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