Intex Technologies introduced the first Firefox OS smartphone targeting the Indian market, with the device being sold online for INR1,999 ($33).
The move follows a partnership between the platform’s backer, Mozilla, and Spreadtrum, intended to deliver chipsets powering $25 dollar smartphones. At Mobile World Congress, Manoj Kohli, head of India’s Bharti Airtel, identified this price as a “sweet spot” for emerging markets.
Intex Cloud FX is available exclusively from online retailer Snapdeal.com. It is powered by a 1.0GHz processor, 2G-only connectivity alongside WiFi, and dual SIM support. Several languages are supported, including Tamil and Hindi.
Li Gong, president of Mozilla, said: “With support from Intex, Firefox OS smartphones in the ultra-low-cost category will redefine the entry-level smartphone and create strong momentum in Asia.”
According to India’s Economic Times, Intex is planning to introduce three more Firefox OS devices in the coming year, including its first 3G device before the end of 2014. Pricing for this should come in at around $65.
The paper also said that Mozilla is in talks with other vendors, such as Micromax, Karbonn and Lava, and expects one more deal to close by “mid-September”.
In addition to Intex, Mozilla has announced a partnership with Spice, which is also expected to offer a device via Snapdeal.com imminently.
Spice’s first device is also expected to be priced slightly higher ($38), meaning that its feature set is likely to be differentiated from Intex’s, which is already above the $25 price of the Spreadtrum reference design.
While much of the focus has been on the sale of devices direct to consumers, it has also been reported that talks with operators are ongoing – with the Firefox OS effort having been closely associated with operators from the outset – but that this may be aided by the availability of 3G smartphones.
Mobile World Live spoke to Li Gong about Mozilla’s efforts in Asia earlier this year. Watch our exclusive video interview here.