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Monday, 10 March 2014

$25 Smartphone by FireFox OS



Mozilla is aiming squarely at the dominance of Google Android in the smartphone field by introducing the cheap smartphone with the FireFox OS on it. Mozilla unveiled the phone at a press event at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
Mozilla partnered with chipmaker Spreadtrum to develop the smartphone that has a $25 suggested retail price. Even if it comes with a low price tag, the device still has some respectable specs. TechRadar got shipping unit of the device and reported that it has a single-core ARM Cortex-A5 chip clocked at 1 GHz backed by 256 MB of RAM. It also has a 2GB flash memory and a 3.5 inch display, along with a 2 megapixel camera.
The $25 smartphone from Mozilla is the ideal first smartphone for people who have not been able to afford other smartphone models according to Jay Sullivan, the chief operating officer of Mozilla. Sullivan was quoted by Bloomberg as saying,“we are about bringing people online.”
A cheap smartphone will be perfect for developing markets where internet penetration rates are not high yet. Smartphones can help people in these markets leapfrog the progression to getting access to the Internet and avoid purchasing personal computers or laptops just to connect to the Internet.
The cheap smartphone also appears to be Mozilla’s first push to stake its claim in the smartphone OS market which is dominated by Google’s Android OS. Q2 2013 data from IDC shows that Android had a smartphone market share of 79.3% while iOS had market share of 13.2%. Mozilla will most likely aim at breaking Linux’s market share, at least for the initial phase. Mozilla only needs to capture more than 0.8% which is Linux’s share in the smartphone OS market.
Smartphones Reduce the Digital Divide
One of the projections from
Ericsson’s ConsumerLab’s 10 Hot Consumer Trends 2014 is that smartphones will reduce the digital divide. The study found that people in Indonesia and India already primarily use smartphones for instant messaging and online banking. That is a big contrast to the U.S. and the U.K. where people are more likely to use their laptop for online banking. People also believe that mobile phones are the most important tool for carrying out daily activities. Ericsson’s study shows that 51% of people think about mobile phones this way.
Aside from offering cheap phones, there is also a need to address the other side of the equation and that means the infrastructure for connecting smartphones to the Internet. Telecommunication firms are doing their best to offer the 
<a href="http://www.moneyhero.com.hk/en/broadband">best broadband plans</a> 
to mobile consumers but there is more work that needs to be done. Facebook, for example, has the Internet.org project where they try to connect more people to the Internet and they are doing this by trying to bring down the cost to access the Internet. The Internet.org is aiming to connect 5 billion more people to the Internet.
Mozilla is not alone in trying to offer lower-priced smartphones to the market. Nokia, for example, has also introduced a new line of phones that run on the Google Android system that costs around $120. BlackBerry also unveiled the Z3 and the Canadian smartphone maker will sell the phone in Indonesia before selling it to other Southeast Asian countries.
There are also smaller handset makers that are making cheaper smartphones. ZTE from China is not as well-known as Nokia or Blackberry but they have been making cheap smartphones. In the Philippines, there is also Cherry Mobile that sells affordable smartphones. The race to offer cheaper smartphones is a good development for breaking down the digital divide in the world. These devices can help bring all of the benefits of having information at the tip of your hands to the rest of the world’s population that still do not have access to the Internet.

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