Mozilla to launch $25 smartphone

Mozilla to launch $25 smartphone

Mozilla has revealed plans to begin shipping a $25 (£18) smartphone by the end of the year, based on its Open C operating system.

The ultra-low cost phone will be aimed squarely at the emerging markets and is slated to go on sale first in India and Indonesia by the end of this year. It follows the launch of a $99 (£73) smartphone in Europe and the US earlier in the year.

Despite the breathtakingly cheap price, the phone will include a camera, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth although the screen will be 3.5in HVGA screen, with a 1GHz processor.

Mozilla is gunning for a major slice of a potential billion people who have not yet been able to afford smartphones.

Mozilla Chief Operating Officer Gong Li told the Wall Street Journal that customers in the developing world could not afford $50 handsets. 'With a $25 price tag, there is no price gap between a smartphone and a feature phone. This attractive price point would help motivate feature-phone users to switch to smartphones.'

But analysts predict that Mozilla will need a huge leap of faith from manufacturers to get the project off the ground.

Dr Richard Windsor of Radio Free Mobile estimated 'any manufacturer making the device will have to sell 10 million in order to break even.

'This means every handset maker that takes on the design will be looking for total commitments of at least 10 million units before going into production. This kind of commitment is almost unheard of in the mobile phone industry and I suspect that even getting commitments of 1 million will be almost impossible,' he said.

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