Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Smart Communications to Launch Firefox Smartphones

Smart Communications announced at the Mobile World Congress 2013 that it will be adding mobile phones powered by Mozilla's new Firefox operating system in the Philippines. A total of eighteen carriers announced that they would be carrying Firefox phones, and three manufacturers: LG, Alcatel and ZTE are building phones for it.

The new operating system won't convince you to switch from your Android or Apple smartphones, but should be priced at the lower price points, targeting the Nokia Asha and higher end feature phones. Firefox OS is a light operating system which runs mainly web apps. This allows for the use older hardware and thus build lower cost smartphones. 

An example of what a Firefox OS phone will be like is the Alcatel One Touch Fire. 

Alcatel One Touch Fire Quick System Specs:

  • 3.5-inch HVGA (320 x 480) display
  • 1 GHz single core processor
  • 256 MB of RAM
  • 512 MB of internal storage, with MicroSD card support
  • 3G connectivity

Essentially, the specifications are like an Android or Apple smartphone from 2009. Using these now obsolescent parts will allow for parts manufacturers to use their older production lines, and for LG, Alcatel and ZTE to build some really low cost smartphones. 

While all smartphones are heavily dependent on the Internet for functionality, these low cost Firefox smartphones are more dependent on an active internet connection to be useful. It will be interesting to see how Smart will create plans for these new smartphones.

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