Mozilla On Track To Sell 10M Firefox Smartphones

“Mozilla will launch a series of inexpensive Firefox OS smartphone models in the India market in July, with retail prices of up to US$50, according to company COO and Mozilla Taiwan CEO Gong Li.
Mozilla initially launched Firefox smartphones in the Latin America and Europe markets in July 2013 and has sold about one million units, Gong said. Mozilla has been able to cooperate with only 1-2 mobile telecom carriers in each country in the two regional markets, but will instead cooperate with more than 10 retail chains in India.”
Learning the ropes, Mozilla has signed up a few telecoms and retail chains to shift millions of smartphones with FireFox OS. This shows that while Google/Android/Linux seems to be a monopolistic juggernaut, there is still plenty of room for competition as long as price/performance is good enough for consumers. Who would have thought such a going concern would arise from the ashes of Netscape destroyed by M$ so many years ago. It shows that corporations can be killed but not ideas.

See Firefox smartphones to be launched in India in July, says Mozilla COO.

See also, Firefox OS ecosystem continues expansion and redefines the entry-level smartphone

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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8 Responses to Mozilla On Track To Sell 10M Firefox Smartphones

  1. oiaohm says:

    kurkosdr the 25 euro firefox phone is lower spec than Alcatel One Touch Fire. Spreadtrum SC8621 in EU if you can find one is 25-30 euro or about 30-40 USD.

    kurkosdr I would call it a little deceptive is 25 USD if you pick it up from the factory yourself. Yes its about 5-15 dollars to get it to someone in the EU in volume. A more retail to customer price is about half price of Alcatel One Touch Fire. So a 50 dollar phone compared to a 99 dollar one.

    India very short shipping so 25 USD might be possible. If you read the full mozilla article it has sales prices under 50 USD as it was kind expects people will want to make some profit. In fact at 25 dollars Spreadtrum and Mozilla both get a slice of income.

    kurkosdr mozilla did not set the price target. Mozilla asked Spreadtrum to build the cheapest that would work. Result was 25 dollars at factory door and sub 50 dollars in customers hands. In fact both Spreadtrum and Mozilla get a cut out of 25 dollars as profit.

  2. kurkosdr wrote, “The $25 price was basically an impossible target Mozilla shouldn’t have set”.

    There’s always someone who will sell parts or service for less, even at a loss. For 10 million devices, they probably could find a way to do $25. e.g. some bankruptcies or inventory reductions… This bargain-basement stuff though does not scale to 100million or so, the next level just because no single source would have that quantity available at such a cheap price. ie. They will stop producing after they’ve reached some inventory they can’t sell. With Moore’s Law approaching ~10nm, the cost of chips produced in such volumes approaches packaging costs, peanuts. A SoC with everything on the chip could really take a bite out of the total costs. The rest is a few connectors, screen, battery and case, all of which cost less the greater volume. I’ve been looking lately at Chinese marketing. I can order an humongous generator for a few hundred dollars that they will put onto a ship going anywhere in the world for no extra charge. These things weigh 100-500 pounds and typically consumers here pay ~$10/pound for such technology. The Chinese have a gazillion family businesses cranking out thousands per day and they can make money selling them one at a time or by the container-load. Once smartphones are shipped by the container-load or even pallets on cargo-planes, the Chinese can find a way to make money making and selling them. What the cloud is to IT, the Chinese are to manufacturing.

  3. dougman wrote, “smartphone costs are declining at 5% per annum since 2008”.

    There are costs of manufacture, costs of selling and average selling prices. It’s too diverse a thing, the smartphone market, to characterize by a single number. Moore’s Law mostly applies to chips but as they are a major cost of a smartphone it matters. That also affects RAM which may or may not be built into the SoC. Then there are the RF chips. Some are built in to the SoC and others are discrete. The only thing I know for sure is that as volumes increase, efficiencies can be found to sell small cheap computers cheaper for the same or better performance. There is certainly some bottom being approached, cost of raw material and assembly and shipping. I expect in the end every smart thingy will have some angle to sell at a loss on paper as revenue is obtained by kickbacks from service-providers or advertisers. This could happen within a few years and would really knock off the little guys except they are needed to keep up with this volume. Is a billion or more per annum sustainable by any individual or conglomerate of big guys? Because these things are mostly plastic and parts are all mass-produced the chief bottleneck may be assembling them and getting them to consumers. Sharing one way or another is the order of the day. Nothing else has the volume. Nothing else can share the risks. It’s just too huge and dynamic.

  4. dougman says:

    KUKU, just because something is priced cheaper than your country, does not warrant it to be a fraud. The same thing applies if you have not seen or heard about it, this is why I posted the Time magazine article.

    Impossible you say? Many a person has stated something to be “impossible”, then proven wrong later by someone else, this is called innovation.

    Did you also perhaps forget about Moores Law?

    http://www.gsmarena.com/spreadtrum_planning_a_25_firefox_os_smartphone-news-7905.php

    With that said, Mary Meeker stated that smartphone costs are declining at 5% per annum since 2008. Apple stated the same thing in a internal memo.

    http://www.businessinsider.com/internal-apple-presentation-on-iphone-business-2014-4

  5. kurkosdr says:

    “I would most certainly buy a few $25 phones to be used as mobile bitcoin wallets only.”

    The $25 price is a fraud. In my country, the cheapest FirefoxOS device is the Alcatel One Touch Fire with a cost of 99 euros.

    And I haven’t heard of a 25$ FirefoxOS phone released to market, even for countries like India, to be honest. I don’t think you can really ship a touchscreen phone for 25$. If you account for the cost of battery, 256MBs of storage (can’t imagine less), 3G chip, packaging and shipping, I can easily imagine just these costing 20 dollars. This is why the dumbest dumbphones out there cost 20 dollars. So, you have 5 bucks left for everything else (screen, SoC and RAM). Impossible.

    The $25 price was basically an impossible target Mozilla shouldn’t have set. Maybe they were talking about just SoC, RAM and storage price. The strength of FirefoxOS is delivering a decent experience for a price of, say, 70bucks. Sure, there are $70 Android phones (like the One Touch Pop C1, again from Alcatel, the bottom feeder of bottom feeders), but I don’t want to imagine how Android runs on this thing.. FirefoxOS could run decently on it. That’s 30 bucks cheaper than the Android One, which could make a difference in some asian countries.

  6. dougman says:

    I would most certainly buy a few $25 phones to be used as mobile bitcoin wallets only. With Mozilla planning in integrating web payments into its Firefox OS, bitcoins would be a wonderful marriage.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DjjkAYI5kNM

    http://time.com/2857448/mozilla-25-smartphone-firefox/

  7. kurkosdr wrote, “I hate the idea apps should be written on HTML5 and JS instead of Java which was made for that kind of thing.”

    Java has had all kinds of insecurity lately which suggests to me that because it was developed before rampant malware that it may have some fundamental design-flaws. HTML5 is definitely starting from a more security-conscious era. Java and Javascript also both started as proprietary/non-Free/closed systems. That’s really not the right way to do software. I expect we can reflect on this again if vulnerabilities decrease or at least slow down somehow in the coming year or two. Java and other such languages based on “C” development are suspect to me on other standpoints. C, while widely used, sucks… Basically, the more complex any software is the more likely it contains vulnerabilities. It’s hard to beat Cish stuff for complexity. I keep thinking of those 8 “assignment statements” etc. I keep seeing the kinds of bugs that creep into the Linux kernel depending solely on the constant mutation of the C-cancer. We separate style from content, syntax from semantics, etc. for very good reasons and C mushes them all together. It’s just wrong to have to compile version x.y.z of any software with a C compiler version a.b.c, yet I see that all the time in GNU/Linux. Java is a bit better than that, breaking things only for major releases but it’s still a very complex language compared to something minimal like PASCAL or Python.

  8. kurkosdr says:

    You didn’t end this post with “It’s all good”. Lost an opportunity there, because this is a case of “it’s all good”.

    Although I still think FirefoxOS would be better if it had a Java VM. I hate the idea apps should be written on HTML5 and JS instead of Java which was made for that kind of thing.

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