Mozilla Broadens Firefox Smartphone Platform -- Announces $25 Smartphones
Published on: 24th Feb 2014
By: Ian Mansfield
Mozilla the company behind the Firefox smartphone operating system has outlined its expansion plans and says that its mobile network operator partners plan to offer more handsets in more markets.
The company is also pushing down the price chain with a cheaper handset as well as moving slightly more upmarket to broaden its appeal.
Firefox OS is also expanding to additional form factors, as partners and contributors work to optimize the software for TVs, tablets and other devices. In January, Panasonic announced a partnership with Mozilla to release next-generation smart TVs powered by Firefox OS.
Later this year, they will introduce Firefox Accounts and services. With Firefox Accounts, Mozilla can better integrate services including Firefox Marketplace, Firefox Sync, backup, storage, or even a service to help locate, message or wipe a phone if it were lost or stolen.
Alcatel Onetouch, Huawei, LG and ZTE currently produce Firefox OS based smartphones.
The newest Firefox OS devices to join the family include the ZTE Open C and Open II, Alcatel OneTouch Fire C, Fire E, Fire S and Fire 7 tablet, all using Qualcomm Snapdragon processors.
A new entry level smartphone
Fabless semiconductor vendor, Spreadtrum has also announced WCDMA and EDGE turnkey reference designs for Firefox OS as well as the industry's first chipset for US$25 smartphones, the SC6821.
The chipset is designed with a unique low memory configuration and high level of integration that dramatically reduces the total bill of materials required to develop low-end smartphones. With this chipset, handset makers will be able to bring to market smartphones with 3.5" HVGA touchscreens, integrated WiFi, Bluetooth, FM and camera functions, the advanced phone and browser features of Firefox OS, and access to a rich ecosystem of web and HTML5 applications.
Spreadtrum and Mozilla have completed the integration of Firefox OS with Spreadtrum's SC6821 and SC7710 WCDMA smartphone chipsets, and expect to complete a turnkey reference design for the SC7715, Spreadtrum's single-core WCDMA smartphone chipset with integrated connectivity, next month.
"Firefox OS is off to an amazing start. We launched our first smartphones in July, and have since expanded into fifteen markets," said Jay Sullivan, chief operating officer of Mozilla. "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."