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

Must Read

New RBI Guidelines Force You To Memorise All Of Your Card Details

It's time to get your brain prepped to do some much-needed homework and commit to memory the...

Bounce Layoff: Bike Rental Startup To Pivot Into New Vertical

Bike-rental startup Bounce has laid off a massive chunk of its workforce in a bid to survive...

Zomato Beefs Up Valuation Prior To IPO In Its Latest Fundraising Round!

Before heading to the stock market with an IPO, the homegrown food delivery startup Zomato beefs up...

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..

  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

    Advertisements

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest News

Reliance Aims To Launch Its Own Version Of UPI-Like Payments Network With Google And Facebook!

The mammoth tech-petroleum conglomerate Reliance aims to create its own version of UPI! According...

TikTok Coughs Up $92 Million In Fine For Harvesting User Data Of Minors!

The popular short-form video app TikTok simply can’t catch a break! Besides dealing with its botched acquisition now stuck in limbo, the...

Facebook Continues Taking A Jab At Apple With New Marketing Campaign

Even after a month of attacking and accusing Tim Cook Zuckerberg is still very much fizzle out from Apple’s major blow to...

Xiaomi Levels Up On India Manufacturing: 99% Smartphones Are Made In India

Xiaomi really is digging its heels to live up to a commitment. One of the first adopters of the...

After SMS, WhatsApp Now Becomes A Threat To Cell Calling: 1 Billion And Counting

It already buried the SMSes in the ground. Now, traditional cellular calling is next on the hit list. The number of WhatsApp...

Flipkart Quickly Learns From the Mistake Amazon Did: Setting Up A Level Playing Field For Sellers!

Unlike Amazon which allegedly implemented unethical strategies to tackles India’s FDI policy for e-commerce marketplaces, Flipkart plans to do it right!

In-Depth: Dprime

Will ‘TikTok By Microsoft’ Be A Winner?

For the last two years, TikTok has been in the public eye for all sorts of reasons. First, it was the exploded...

Facebook Subscription Model: Looking Beyond Ad Dollars?

Seldom do job listings create a stir this gripping. However, when the job listing in question is a stealth post from Twitter,...

Will The Online Food Delivery Market in India End Up Becoming A Two-Horse Race?

It's pretty much evident that the food delivery space in India is all set to get riled up soon enough as one...

More Articles Like This