Wed, Aug 27, 2014 - Page 15 News List

Mozilla eyes Indian market with a US$33 smartphone

OPEN SOURCE:The company has established deals with several Indian handset makers to release a series of low-cost devices in its first move into an Asian nation

Bloomberg

Mozilla Corp began offering its first low-cost smartphone in India for 1,999 rupees (US$33), in a bid to build market share for its open-source software in the world’s fastest growing market for such devices.

The Cloud FX phone runs Mozilla’s Firefox operating system and offers games and other content through its applications store, Jane Hsu (許永真), the company’s Taipei-based director of product marketing, said at a New Delhi briefing on Monday. The device has 128 megabytes of RAM, a 2 megapixel camera and a 1 gigahertz processor, she said.

The company’s inexpensive smartphone push might be its best bet for gaining users in India, where more people access the Internet through smartphones than computers.

Indian consumers are expected to buy about 225 million smartphones this year, according to Brad Rees, chief executive officer of Mediacells Ltd, a London-based marketing company.

“The biggest barrier for feature phone users is cost and usability,” Hsu said, referring to upgrading users of devices with limited Internet capability. “We think this is the best phone for them.”

Intex Technologies (India) Ltd, based in New Delhi, manufactured the Cloud FX smartphone that went on sale on Monday on the e-commerce site Snapdeal.com.

Intex plans to sell 500,000 Mozilla phones in the next three months, company product head Sudhir Kumar said in New Delhi on Monday.

Mozilla is to introduce a US$38 phone later this week made by Spice Mobility Ltd, based near New Delhi.

Hsu said other deals with Indian smartphone makers will be announced in coming weeks that she declined to identify.

Mozilla unveiled its operating system in July last year with mid-priced phones in Latin America and Europe, subsidized through local wireless carriers. Now in 15 countries, Mozilla is making its first foray into Asia, Hsu said.

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