$25 Smartphone? Great Feedback from Mobile World Congress

“Long-awaited”; “impressive;” “extremely disruptive”: These are just some of the comments we’re hearing in the wake of Mozilla’s recent announcement that we are enabling a whole new category of smartphone, priced around $25.

Mozilla—like most of the rest of the world, it seems—has been at Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona this week. As MWC kicked off, Mozilla made some big announcements, including this one. Below, we share some of the great news coverage it is receiving.

CIO today quotes Forrester analyst Ted Schadler describing the announcement as a “long-awaited move” that will put pressure on such phone makers as Nokia.

VentureBeat quotes Avi Greengart, an analyst with Current Analysis, that the $25 Firefox OS phone “could be extremely disruptive.”

In a CNET review, Stephen Shankland says, “I toyed with a prototype Sunday at its debut at Mobile World Congress here, and I have to say, I’m impressed–given the price.” He also points out, “It’s not something a rich kid from New Jersey or a businessman from Tokyo would be caught dead with.”

At Mozilla, we’re OK with that, because as Shankland goes on to say, “That’s not the target market.” … “Mozilla, reasonably, tells those who would judge this Firefox OS model that they should compare it to a bargain-bin feature phone with a few built-in apps and a low-end camera.” … “And for that market, it really works.”

Redefining the Entry Level for Smartphones

Many comment on the fact that Mozilla is redefining the entry level for smartphones in key growth markets.

Geek.com says, “There are hundreds of millions of people all over the world who would love to have both a phone and a device that can access the internet, but can’t justify the cost. $25 Firefox phones could be exactly what they’ve been waiting for.”

Ubergizmo makes a similar point: “After all, if you’re shopping on a budget, the last thing on your mind would be whether or not your phone comes with biometric security features, right? In fact the goal of these smartphones is to get people to stop using feature phones and to start using smartphones, particularly that of Mozilla’s own making.”

A Pretty Great Package

So while these phones may not have biometric security features, observers recognize that the overall Firefox package is pretty appealing.

Forbes quotes analyst Rob Enderle of The Enderle Group: “Twenty-five dollars could well be affordable to businesses [in developing markets], not to mention consumers, and that–price–is the filter through which they will make their decision about getting a phone.”

Forbes then adds, “But they are getting more than just a phone. Along with Firefox OS come Firefox Marketplace and an adaptive app search that Mozilla has developed.”

At Firefox Marketplace, we couldn’t agree more.


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