Mozilla shows $25 Firefox OS-based smartphone running Spreadtrum chips
One aim is to help blunt domination by two mobile OS's, Android and iOS, Mozilla CEO Sullivan declares
Computerworld - BARCELONA -- Mozilla and China-based chip maker Spreadtrum Sunday unveiled a chipset designed for $25 smartphones running the open source Firefox operating system.
That low cost approach is seen as important to attracting potential customers who are moving from a feature phone to their first smartphone, especially in emerging countries. Analysts are already seeing a slowdown in the growth of sales of high end smartphones in developed countries.
The chipset, dubbed the SC6821, runs in a working phone, which Mozilla and Spreadtrum officials showed to reporters and analysts at an event prior to Mobile World Congress here this week. However, they didn't say exactly when it might ship, other than in 2014.
In a statement, Mozilla said that six mobile operators and other partners are interested in selling the device. None are based in the U.S. however.
Mozilla also showed off a reference design phone, dubbed Flame, which is intended to help developers test apps against phones with different amounts of memory. The 4.5-in. display device, running on the new Firefox 1.3 OS, aims to be a medium-priced phone eventually. It runs a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8210 dual core processor clocked at 1.2 GHz.
Mozilla Chairwoman Mitchell Baker said the Firefox OS has reached an "exciting moment for innovation in mobile. Imagine when we have affordable, inexpensive devices all interoperable and with the power of the Web."
"What we are all about is bringing people online," added Mozilla CEO Jay Sullivan. "Tonight's exciting for Mozilla with a $25 smartphone based on Spreadtrum chips. With turnkey designs, you'll see a flood of $25 smartphones. It's not enough to have two OS's [Android and iOS] in the world dominating."
Sullivan described three different Spreadtrum chipsets, but only named one, the SC6821. All will be based on WCDMA and EDGE networks, not faster LTE.
Mozilla has been in the market for the past year with smartphones from three manufacturers in 15 countries in Europe and Latin America and intends to expand to 12 more countries this year.
New Firefix OS devices announced included the ZTE Open C and Open II, Alcatel Onetouch Fire C, Fire E, Fire and the Fire 7 tablet. All run Snapdragon processors.
In future releases, Firefox OS will support LTE as well as universal search for apps or Web content reached by a simple swipe, officials said.
Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen, or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed . His email address is email@example.com@computerworld.com. > >
- Secure smartphones are nice, but not enough
- STMicro could enable touchless gesture control of smartphones
- The 'Internet of things,' beyond the hype at Mobile World Congress
- 64-bit smartphones are coming, but Apple's iPhone 5s still stands alone
- New chipsets and devices lay groundwork for LTE-Advanced
- Management vendors show Windows Phone some love
- SAP, BMW research project to connect drivers with real-time offers and services
- Samsung debuts new Exynos chips, questions linger on 64-bit plans
- Motorola to release a smartwatch later this year
- Samsung beefs up Knox mobile management software
Read more about Mobile/Wireless in Computerworld's Mobile/Wireless Topic Center.
- Silicon Valley's 19 Coolest Places to Work
- Is Windows 8 Development Worth the Trouble?
- 8 Books Every IT Leader Should Read This Year
- 10 Hot Hadoop Startups to Watch
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- Assessing ROI for Mobile Acceleration Clients This EMA® paper examines the business case for deploying mobile WAN optimization client software and builds a ROI model based on the experiences...
- The Apple-ization of the Enterprise: Understanding IT's New World Read this paper for how to tackle Apple-ization (and the related consumerization of IT and Bring Your Own Device/BYOD).
- A Practical Introduction to Enterprise Mobility Management Read the white paper to better understand the basic concepts within mobility management and to learn how you can apply EMM technology to...
- Enterprise Mobility: A Checklist for Secure Containerization The advantages and disadvantages of the multiple approaches to containerization. Learn More>>
- On-demand webinar: "Mobility Mayhem: Balancing BYOD with Enterprise Security" Check out this on-demand webinar to hear Sophos senior security expert John Shier deep dive into how BYOD impacts your enterprise security strategy...
- Mobile Security: Containerizing Enterprise Data In this on-demand webinar, Fixmo's Lee Cocking, VP of corporate strategy, explains why Apple-ization trends like mobility and "bring-your-own-device" (BYOD) are driving the... All Mobile/Wireless White Papers | Webcasts
Our new weekly Consumerization of IT newsletter covers a wide range of trends including BYOD, smartphones, tablets, MDM, cloud, social and what it all means for IT. Subscribe now and stay up to date!