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Mozilla’s next Firefox OS phones will run on hardware costing just $25

New entry-level Firefox OS phones will be super affordable and use hardware worth less than £20.

We first met web giant Mozilla’s mobile OS last year at Mobile World Congress, running on the ZTE Open, now the we’re learning about the next step in this unique platform’s rollout.

The ZTE Open was a bit of an awkward child, showing off the basic experience that can be had from Firefox OS’ HTML5-based user experience, albeit with a few notable glitches and bugs. Despite the rocky start, Mozilla reports that between MWC 2013 and 2014, the platform has grown internationally.

Firefox OS

This year’s MWC is playing host to new devices, such as the ZTE Open 2, Alcatel OneTouch Fire 7 tablet and devices from the likes of Huawei and LG too, all boasting more powerful Qualcomm-based chipsets than last year’s Open. Power was certainly what the open lacked and whilst we’re hoping to get some hands-on time with these new devices on the show floor, Mozilla has already announced that it’s exploring more affordable device offerings, made using more affordable components.

In what the organisation is dubbing ‘A new smartphone entry level’, many forthcoming Firefox OS devices will boast primary chipsets costing around $25 (just £15). The SC6821 SoC, built by Spreadtrum, is intended to feature in Firefox OS phones destined for emerging markets. This comes as the continuation of Mozilla’s pursuit for the next billion smartphone users, focussing on untapped markets across the globe.

“In six short months, Firefox OS has more than established itself in the very markets it aimed to address,” said John Jackson, VP of Mobility Research, IDC.

Despite the super-basic experiences these phones will no doubt offer, the chipset in question still promises support for EDGE and even WCDMA data speeds, giving devices like Nokia’s Asha family food for thought going forward.

In your eyes, what features makes a phone ‘smart’? Let us know in the comments below.

Read more about Mobile World Congress 2014 on our MWC hub.


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