Fight For The Cheapest

The new smartphone of Mozilla Firefox with a price tag of only Rs 1,500 has created a buzz in the market. But can it deliver good results in the feature phones series?

Mozilla has entered the market of featured smartphones with a price tag of only Rs 1,500. Mozilla showcased its feature phone at Mobile World Congress and has awe-strucked everyone in delivering a smartphone that would run on the operating system Firefox OS–created by the company. The technology firm has sealed a deal with Shanghai-based company, Spreadtrum to provide the chipsets and come up with reference designs of the low-cost Firefox OS-powered smartphones.

The smartphones developed by Mozilla will pose a direct competition to the rival companies like Nokia, Samsung in the feature phone section. This is because the specification provided by the company looks promising as it features a dual-core Qualcomm 1.2 GHz Snapdragon CPU, 3G UMTS quad-band, Wi-Fi, NFC, and a 4.5 inch 845 x 480 display. “In 2014, we are differentiating our user experience and our partners are growing the portfolio of devices. We are also enabling a whole new category of smartphone, priced around $25, which will bring even more people around the world online,” Mozilla Chief Operating Officer Jay Sullivan said during the event. Firefox OS is one of its own kinds of operating system as it is built entirely to open web standards with every feature developed as an HTML5 application.

The User Interface (UI) will be really simple and meant for browsing experience. Swiping from the edges would be a key feature in the UI, which will help users switch among open applications easily. The notification screen is at the bottom, and can be opened by an upward swipe. A small strip of text is also displayed at the top of a page, which informs the users about the application (or the web page), which are currently active and many more, which would make the experience simple yet effective. “With the new model, we’re really simplifying and making what we think is the ultimate browsing experience,” said Josh Carpenter, the user experience leader for Firefox OS.

Firefox OS is already available in 15 markets on three devices, but Mozilla wants to expand this significantly by entering the Latin American markets. Also, Deutsche Telekom plans to sell models in Croatia, the Czech Republic, Macedonia and Montenegro. Companies like Alcatel OneTouch, Huawei, LG, and ZTE are all building handsets using Firefox OS. Panasonic has even announced it will use Firefox OS to power a web-connected HDTV.

By Rohan Pal

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