Mozilla announces future release of US$25 smartphone

24 Feb 2014

At this year’s Mobile World Congress (MWC), Mozilla announced that they plan to launch a new line of smartphones which will be priced around US$25 in a move which could shake up the budget smartphone market.

In what is no doubt an attempt to target the developing world where smartphone ownership is just beginning to take off and is believed to have great potential, the Firefox phone is just one of the company’s new devices that have recently been announced.

One of the key factors to its cheap unit cost is believed to be Mozilla’s partnership with Chinese semi-conductor manufacturers Spreadtrum, which it is believed has designed a line of ARM Cortex A5 processors to be featured in the smartphone.

Removing the installation process

With the Firefox OS, one of the biggest things that the OS’s user experience leader, John Carpenter, wants to get rid of the concept of the app store that both Android and Apple base their app downloads on.

In doing so, it would create a cloud-like app system which begs the question of how this will affect data usage limits on phone plans.

Speaking at the MWC, Carpenter said: “I want to get rid of the install button. ‘Install’ should be just ‘open.'”  

The OS’s current design has seen a major overhaul, particularly in terms of scrolling which has been better implemented for a much smoother interaction with the screen.

Carpenter had said that this was important to the OS’s future as a phone to challenge the other established OSs: “Responsiveness is the single most important factor that determines whether a person likes a product.”

No exact date has been given for the phone’s launch but it is expected to happen in the coming months.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic