Spice has launched a new smartphone running the Firefox OS in India. This move, right at the heels of a similar one by local rival Intex, is intended to capture the growing market for affordable smartphones in the region. The new device is priced at INR 2,299. Intex was the first to launch a handset in the area with Mozilla support.
The smartphone from Spice, features dual SIM capabilities, primarily aimed at phone users looking to move on to better features within an affordable budget. The release is expected to meet the demands of those looking to migrate to smartphone use. The company projects sales of one lakh units in the first two months. Currently sales are limited to the Snapdeal, an Indian based online shopping portal.
Mozilla, creator of the famous Firefox browser and now Firefox OS, had come up with a smartphone prototype costing under $25, which they showcased at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February. This model was aimed at markets in developing countries including India and China.Intex and Spice were the first local partners to get into the project for low-cost phones, in a country, which is growing fast in the global smartphone arena.
There’s also a sub-$100 device expected from Spice, which will fall under the Android One initiative.Micromax and Karbonn are the other companies that have partnered with Goolge on coming up with smartphones under the $100 price tag.
Mozilla Firefox OS Smartphones
Spice’s Firefox phone, the Spice Fire One Mi FX1, runs on the Firefox OS and a 1 GHz processor. It comes with a 3.5-inch screen, storage expandable up to 4 GB, 1.3MP rear and 0.3 MP front cameras, and a 1,400 mAh battery. Spice has also thrown in with local telecom company Aircel to offer 1GB of free internet usage for three months. All that remains to be seen is how a device with Mozilla support will fare in a market saturated with Android phones.
Handset manufacturers are investing heavily on mobile internet as a way to get further in the market. The current trends, as well as reports, strongly suggest that the next billion people in the region to use the internet for the first time, will do so on a smartphone. This is why, even bigger companies like Microsoft, which recently bought off Nokia’s mobile handset division, are getting ready to try their luck here.
The current lead in the Indian Smartphone market is held by Korean handset maker Samsung, followed by Micromax, Karbonn and Lava.
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