Mozilla to launch $25 Firefox OS smartphones; OS coming to TVs, tablets

Mozilla's Firefox OS didn't exactly wow us when we tested it on the launch device, the ZTE Open. But Mozilla OS is intended, at least initially, as a no-frills operating system with a diverse HTML5 software ecosystem, which can run on the most basic, entry-level hardware. All of the devices seen running the OS so far have targeted the low end, and Mozilla clearly sees a massive opportunity in connecting the billions of people around the world who still have no access to the web. 

But many of these people must survive on the very lowest incomes imaginable, and for some, a smartphone is a luxury that they simply cannot afford. Mozilla is targeting those who lie towards that end of the income spectrum, with plans in the works to launch a $25 smartphone. 

Mozilla has been working with Chinese manufacturer Spreadtrum on designs for a new class of ultra-affordable $25 smartphones running Firefox OS which, in a blog post, the company said "redefines the entry level for smartphones in key growth markets." Numerous carriers in several significant developing markets are said to have expressed an interest in these devices, and according to IDC, Firefox OS smartphone shipments are expected to grow by a factor of six, year-on-year, as a result. 


A Spreadtrum reference design handset for the 'new class' of $25 smartphones

Jay Sullivan, chief operating officer of Mozilla, said that Firefox OS is "off to an amazing start" since its announcement at last year's Mobile World Congress, adding that "sales have far exceeded our targets", with devices from three manufacturers on sale through four carrier giants in fifteen markets. 

He added that there was a great deal more in store for Firefox OS 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." 

Mozilla also revealed that Firefox OS will be made available on many new form factors soon, including smart TVs, tablets and other devices. Panasonic has already signed up to launch TVs with Firefox OS on board later this year. 

Source: Mozilla | image via Mozillla

Editor's note: This article was updated after publishing to include an image of the $25 reference design handset from Spreadtrum.

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I'd like to know when are then ever going to finish nightly. I'd like to know when they will ever bring out a metro version...

I'm ranting again...

Introducing the laggiest phone in history. Already read up about it, and it's going to be worst excuse for a smarthphone ever.

Pluto is a Planet said,
See Firefox OS running emulated on a Raspberry Pi, doing 60 fps of rendering a 3D object: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9f_Y7HoTFLQ

In order to sell a phone for the same price as a Raspberry Pi, they are going to have to cut corners somewhere. They need to reserve money for the display and touch hardware, and need to get it all into a much smaller package than the Pi.

The Pi is probably many times faster than this hardware will be. You won't get that kind of performance on this hardware.

And the teapot demo? Only 60 fps? That should be running at 200 fps.

rfirth said,

In order to sell a phone for the same price as a Raspberry Pi, they are going to have to cut corners somewhere. They need to reserve money for the display and touch hardware, and need to get it all into a much smaller package than the Pi.

The Pi is probably many times faster than this hardware will be. You won't get that kind of performance on this hardware.

And the teapot demo? Only 60 fps? That should be running at 200 fps.


The Pi is 2 year old technology lol. And remember what you saw on the screen was emulated.

rfirth said,
The Pi is probably many times faster than this hardware will be. You won't get that kind of performance on this hardware.

And the teapot demo? Only 60 fps? That should be running at 200 fps.


There's sadly no info on what the SC6821 SOC offers in terms of hardware, but the Pi is just a 700mhz ARMv6 chip, and I doubt any manufacturer would launch a phone today without an ARMv7 chip. "Many times" is a big word, at most the phone would have to be a 233mhz ARMv6 chip unless you want to have your words for dinner. But hey, let's see when all this info is revealed, I will bring the popcorn.

Btw, have you ever heard of framerate limiting and vsync? you know, it's that thing that makes your screen go smoothly and not tear because you are throwing more frames at the screen than it can display.

I can see this OS working fine for a child, teen or old folks... But for the average working people and specially in the pro field... This OS and specially the $25 phone is just a toy with not LTE or Bluetooth.

macoman said,
I can see this OS working fine for a child, teen or old folks... But for the average working people and specially in the pro field... This OS and specially the $25 phone is just a toy with not LTE or Bluetooth.
The OS has always had bluetooth lmao. Idk about LTE, but I don't think that's important to the userbase they're targeting.

I actually think this is a practical OS for the average users, even more practical than Chrome OS. It provides an affordable smartphone with the basic apps that people use (social networking, mobile games, and communication).

Sounds like a smart phone I'd use simply because it isn't all bloated, I hope, with the crap that comes on the higher end ones!

I DO NOT need or want that stuff!

I do nothing more than send text messages and make/receive phone calls, period! There are a LOT of people like me also, who could afford a higher end phone, if I wanted to.

cork1958 said,
I do nothing more than send text messages and make/receive phone calls

Then this phone is way too bloated for you.

cork1958 said,
Sounds like a smart phone I'd use simply because it isn't all bloated, I hope, with the crap that comes on the higher end ones!

I DO NOT need or want that stuff!

I do nothing more than send text messages and make/receive phone calls, period! There are a LOT of people like me also, who could afford a higher end phone, if I wanted to.


Then go buy a feature phone. The phone you want has existed for 10 years...

cork1958 said,
Sounds like a smart phone I'd use simply because it isn't all bloated, I hope, with the crap that comes on the higher end ones!

I DO NOT need or want that stuff!

I do nothing more than send text messages and make/receive phone calls, period! There are a LOT of people like me also, who could afford a higher end phone, if I wanted to.

There are dumb phones for two features you wanted .... you can choose one from their selections at any phone store you prefer.. such as AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, etc.