Mozilla’s thirst for a piece of India’s burgeoning smartphone market has taken on a new dimension after it debuted a £19 handset to gain market share in the country.
The Cloud FX handset runs Mozilla’s Firefox OS and offers 128MB of RAM, a 2-megapixel camera and a 1GHz processor all for the princely sum of just 1,999 rupees [£19].
Delhi-based Intex manufactured the Mozilla-badged smartphone and it has already gone on sale through Snapdeal.com with a specification-list that is impressive given the low-price level.
It comes in black and has a 3.5in capacitive display with a 480 x 320 pixel resolution, 1GB processor, 128MB of RAM, 256MB of onboard memory that can be upgraded up to 4GB with a microSD card, and the 1,250mAh battery brings four hours talk-time and 200 hours standby.
Open-source software based smartphones are experiencing a boom in India and analysts think that pricing a handset at such a low level is Mozilla’s best bet for gaining users. Brad Rees, CEO of marketing company Mediacells, told Bloomberg that Indian consumers will buy around 225 million smartphones this year and many will be based on open-source software.
“The biggest barrier for feature phone users is cost and usability,” stated Jane Hsu, Mozilla’s director of product marketing for the region, referring to upgrading users of devices with limited Internet capability. “We think this is the best phone for them.”
Mozilla first released its OS in July 2013 in Latin America and Europe with a number of mid-range smartphones and the Cloud FX is its first foray into Asia, further expansion depending on how well the new handset performs in India.