MWC 2014: The $25 Spreadtrum-Firefox smartphone

Mozilla and Spreadtrum have got together to make a smartphone which sells for $25 running on Firefox.

Firefox svp Dr. Li Gong says: “Firefox OS delivers a customized, fun and intuitive experience for first-time smartphone buyers and our collaboration with Spreadtrum enables the industry to offer customers an extremely affordable way to get a smartphone and connect with Web apps.”

Spreadtrum’s SC6821 smartphone chipset is designed with a unique low memory configuration and high level of integration that dramatically reduces the BOM 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 web and HTML5 applications, at prices similar to much more minimally featured budget feature phones.

Spreadtrum’s Xiaomao Xiao says: “By integrating Firefox OS support with our smartphone platforms, we are providing our customers with access to the increasingly rich base of HTML5 applications that are available on this platform and provide the benefits of open web technologies to consumers around the world.”

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. Spreadtrum and Mozilla’s collaboration will extend across Spreadtrum’s full chipset portfolio.

Ovum’s Nick Dillon says: “The companies plan to leverage Firefox OS’s lightweight footprint and Spreadtrum’s expertise in designing low-cost chipsets to build a reference design for $25 handsets. This is a price point currently out of the reach of Google and even the lowest-cost Android handset vendors. It pushes Firefox OS into feature-phone territory, potentially signaling the beginning of the end for the category.”

Firefox OS has gone from having prototype software and no commercial hardware or solid commitments from mobile operators at the start of last year to having three devices available across 14 countries and seven mobile operators.

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