Firefox OS to power new $32 smartphone
FIREFOX OS, an upstart smartphone operating system aimed at challenging the Apple and Google duopoly, will power a new category of US$25 (S$32) smartphones for developing countries, the California-based non-profit Mozilla Foundation said on Sunday.
Mozilla sought to show off the success of its system, launched a year ago to prise open a market in which Google's Android was at the heart of 78.4 per cent of all smartphones sold last year and Apple's iOS in another 15.6 per cent, according to figures from technology research house Gartner.
On the eve of the opening of the four-day Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, Mozilla announced the commercial launch of seven new devices using Firefox OS, including Chinese handset maker ZTE's smartphones, Open C and Open II, as well as a range of Alcatel OneTouch tablets.
"We are also enabling a whole new category of smartphone, priced around US$25, that will bring even more people around the world online," said Mozilla chief operating officer Jay Sullivan.
The entry-level smartphone would rely on integrated circuits made by Chinese electronics manufacturer Spreadtrum, he said.
Mozilla did not say how many Firefox-powered smartphones have been sold since the system's launch in July.
The foundation did say, however, that it expected Firefox OS to spread to other devices, including smart television sets.