February 24, 2014
Spreadtrum Communications, China's leading mobile chip supplier; and Mozilla, Firefox's OS designer, have teamed up to storm the world's emerging markets with a $25 smartphone, its startling low cost enabled by Web technologies.
The two companies said they have completed the integration of Firefox OS with several of Spreadtrum's WCDMA and EDGE smartphone chipsets.
The first-generation Firefox OS smartphones, which were launched last year by companies such as Alcatel, ZTE, and LG, have been made available primarily through operator channels. Carriers like Telefonica have deployed Firefox OS smartphones, but many analysts see little impact so far on the smartphone market. Scott Bicheno, senior analyst at Strategy Analytics, said Firefox OS handsets make up less than 1% of total global smartphone shipments.
The Spreadtrum/Mozilla strategy for $25 smartphones is to change that narrative. Diana Jovin, VP of corporate strategy at Spreadtrum, told us the devices will be sold on the open market and will target first-time smartphone users.
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