All of the major mobile Linux OS players, from Tizen and Firefox to Sailfish and Ubuntu, had exciting announcements at Mobile World Congress this week (see our coverage of Samsung's Tizen smartwatches and an overview of all of the mobile OS announcements.) But one of the most buzzed-about was Mozilla and Spreadtrum's prototype $25 Firefox OS phone.
Mozilla has designed a phone that's even more affordable for emerging markets and thus redefines the entry level for smartphones. Mozilla engineers were able to accomplish this by adjusting the hardware requirements of the operating system to run on a 1 GHz CPU, single core Spreadtrum chipset with only 128 MB of RAM. That's only 25 to 50 percent of the RAM found in existing entry-level devices on the market, said Joe Cheng, product manager at Mozilla in this video demonstration of the prototype phone, below.
Mozilla's MWC announcements also served as a platform to promote open source alternatives in the mobile market as well as openness on the Web in general.
“It's important today to have an open and interoperable system and as we go forward and more types of devices are connected, interoperability and open systems will be ever more important,” said Mitchell Baker, Mozilla co-founder and chair of the Mozilla Foundation, in a press conference at MWC. “We and our partners have challenged ourselves to bring this rich experience and sense of possibility to all price points.”
See the $25 Firefox phone demonstrated:
Or watch highlights from the press conference discussing Mozilla's strategy and long-term vision for its Firefox mobile OS: