Mozilla $25 Firefox OS Smartphone Will Kill The Feature Phone Market In India, Not Smartphone !

Must Read

The Hacking Of Jeff Bezos’ Phone: Facebook Blames Apple!

Hacking someone's phone through some malicious app or by injecting some code is nothing new. But when...

Amazon India Food Delivery Business: An Emerging Threat for Swiggy and Zomato?

After establishing its prowess in one-day delivery and two-hour delivery, Amazon India is looking to expand into...

Google Drones Will Make Delivery Industry Undergo A Radical Shift from 2017

Google is set to bring another disruptive change to the way people receive products these days. According to Reuters...

Mozilla is taking the smartphone, rather feature phone, market head-on in collaboration with Indian companies Intex and Spice. Powered by Spreadtrum Processor and based on Firefox OS, the company is launching $25 smartphones in India and Indonesia. The phone will reportedly be launched in July this year. The actual specifications of the product have not been revealed but a reference design discloses Spreadtrum SC6821 processor, 3.5″ HVGA touch screen display, integrated WiFi, Bluetooth, FM and camera. The phone is almost perfect for all those users willing to make a switch from feature phone to smartphones or making their foray into the world of mobile devices. But the major discussion here is whether Mozilla is attempting to take on the smartphone market or rather mutilate the feature phones in India to mere nothings.

Mozilla-Smartphone

Smartphone or a Feature Phone?

Unarguably, the smartphone market in India is price sensitive. 78% of smartphones shipped in India in Q1 2014 were below the range of $200 and the low-price smartphone phenomena continues at the global level as the average selling price of smartphone has been declining constantly for last few years to reach $260 in 2018. The smartphone penetration in India is below the mark as of now. India is the second largest country by the number of mobile subscriber with 933 million mobile subscribers but the total smartphone shipments reached at the end of Q1, 2014 remain at a meager 91.59 million – a mere 9.8%. This leaves more than 90% of mobile subscribers still in possession of a feature phone which they are more likely to upgrade. This portrays a huge opportunity-window for the vendors provided they come with cheaper smartphones. But the price at which Mozilla is venturing in the mobile phone market might kill the feature phone business as well. The feature phones in India start as low as $18-$20, while the Mozilla is launching its smartphone for $25. Getting a more functionally enabled phone just by investing another $5 seems a real wise move.

Indians tend to shy away, at first, from the technology due to lack of awareness and education about it and refrain from sending a huge amount of money. But a web-browsing enabled touch-screen cell phone with a camera, bluetooth, wi-fi, and preloaded app store seems a more mature, money-wise investment. Mozilla is duly optimistic about the smartphone expecting the shipment to reach 10 million units in the next 12 months. Moreover, the updated version of Firefox OS gives enhanced POP3 support, offers better gaming and messaging capabilities.

Advertisements

Feature Phone Vendors To Witness Strong Competition

The launch of $25 smartphone also presents a great challenge for feature phone vendors, especially Samsung and Nokia, in India. Nearly 71% of mobile phone sold in India during Q1 2014 were feature phones. Of this, Samsung Electronics Co, Ltd. (KRX:005935) and Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK) has grabbed the biggest chunk of the pie. While Samsung is riding high with strong sales of its smartphones, Nokia is on bigger threat as the the company contributed just 4% to smartphone sales in the last quarter and majority of its revenue came from feature phone sales. Besides, homegrown vends, such as Micromax, Karbonn and Lava, will face the heat as feature phone sales are still the main drivers for the these companies.

The ‘Firefox’ Way May Have Less Apps

Mozilla $25 smartphone would be powered with relatively new Firefox OS. But the insiders at Mozilla believe they have a better chance at competing with the other new OS – be it Windows Phone 8 or Tizen. The biggest advantage with Firefox is that it is based on advanced HTML5 that is becoming popular among app developers. On the flip side, it will face the same problem Windows Phone 8 OS or forked Android going through due to the scarcity of apps. However, considering Mozilla Firefox is here to kill feature phone, its quite unlikely that availability of apps would be a considerable factor among feature phone users.

“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,” said Mozilla Chief Operating Officer Gong Li.

It will be interesting to watch out for the effect of $25 smartphone on the life-span of feature phone. The device may face severe competition in the smartphone market but at this cost, it will be the first choice for people going for a feature phone. The Firefox OS may present certain navigation problems but in India – a price-sensitive and less app-driven market – it could end up attracting the feature phone customers right away. Besides, it will go a long way in attracting students who are about to buy their first mobile device as a touch-screen with a camera phone and can still be a novelty in the interior parts of India.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Although both feature & low end smartphones have Spreadtrum chipsets….there are very less chances of feature phones ..to go in discontinuation.However now the game will be with higher ROM/RAM capacity to support lower end AndroidOne, Mozilla OS, Ubuntu in feature phones…so over 5 years.there will be a thin line between product category of feature/smart. although one can see higher import data in feature phones in third world countries..even after android wave..

    Advertisements
  2. Hello Everyone, 
    Thanks for the nice article.
    I wish to share http://shortreminders.com/ with you all. 
    Its a SMS reminder platform. Free for personal and business use.
    Get Vaccine Reminders (Only in India), by simply sending an sms as follows… 
    VACC*<Child Name>*<Date of Birth>*<Your Area Pincode> to 096 2090 1212
    Example: VACC*Radha*22-05-2014*110110  to 096 2090 1212. 
    Get Vaccine Reminders up to the age of 16 years. Lot of other reminder templates to quick start. 
    And like us on facebook: http://www.facebook.com/freesmsreminders

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest News

Which Countries Have the Biggest Share in the Global Gaming Market?

The global gaming market is expected to rise from $152 billion in 2019 to $196 billion by...

The Hacking Of Jeff Bezos’ Phone: Facebook Blames Apple!

Hacking someone's phone through some malicious app or by injecting some code is nothing new. But when the matter belongs to one...

Amazon India Food Delivery Business: An Emerging Threat for Swiggy and Zomato?

After establishing its prowess in one-day delivery and two-hour delivery, Amazon India is looking to expand into the domains of food delivery....

India the 3rd Worst Economically Affected Nation by Internet Shutdowns in 2019: Report

2019 saw an increasing awareness about internet shutdowns in the Indian population due to unprecedented first-hand experience with the phenomenon, especially in...

Amazon and Flipkart Under The Lens Of Indian Authorities For Competition Squashing Activities!

The ongoing tug of war between Offline and Online retailers in India seems to be far from over. On Monday, the Competition...

Constant Internet Suspensions In India Affecting Online Transactions and Economy Adversely

In the wake of the highly controversial and prejudiced Citizenship Amendment Act and other related legal developments such as the NRC, IT...

In-Depth: Dprime

YouTube Should Have Bid Adieu To Dislike Button Much Earlier?

Online video sharing platform YouTube can be a ruthless place for content creators targeted by 'dislike mobs'. And the site owners totally understand that...

Facebook Has Pulled Off A Masterstroke By Integrating Its ‘Family Of Apps’?

It’s indeed hard to believe that ONE man sitting at Menlo Park, oversees how nearly a third of the world’s population interacts with each...

Facebook’s Crunch Conquest: By Relying Largely On The US Market, Is Facebook Running a Risk?

Two billion! That's Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) for you - Right when you thought that this social-media giant has already connected the entire world, it's...

More Articles Like This