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Mozilla announces $25 Firefox OS smartphone plans

Mozilla has announced its $25 Firefox OS smartphone plans, in a hope to tap into the mobile market where Android and iOS can’t yet reach.

During Mozilla’s MWC 2014 press conference, COO Jay Sullivan announced a partnership with semiconductor company Spreadtrum to launch a smartphone for just $25 (£15).

The $25 smartphone would be designed to appeal to consumers in developing markets, especially as an attractive upgrade option from a feature phone.

“Firefox OS is off to an amazing start. We launched our first smartphones in July, and have since expanded into fifteen markets,” said Jay Sullivan, Mozilla CEO. “People in Latin America and Eastern Europe have eagerly upgraded from their feature phones to Firefox OS smartphones and now have rich access to the Web and apps. Sales have far exceeded our targets. But 2013 was just the beginning.”

“In 2014, we are differentiating our user experience and our partners are growing the portfolio of devices. We are also enabling a whole new category of smartphone, priced around $25, that will bring even more people around the world online.

Spreadtrum already provide WCDMA and EDGE chipsets for Firefox phones, but has now developed the SC6821 as the first chipset for $25 smartphone devices.

“The combination of Firefox OS with Spreadtrum’s entry-level smartphone platforms has the potential to dramatically extend the reach of smartphones and the Web globally,” said Dr. Li Gong, Senior VP of Mobile at Mozilla. “Firefox OS delivers a customised, 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.”

Using the Spreadtrum SC6821, manufacturers will be able to make smartphones with a 3.5-inch HVGA touchscreen, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and some camera capabilities and run the Firefox OS.

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