Mozilla thinks its bargain-bin Firefox OS still matters in an Android One world

BY GreenBot Staff

Published 3 Mar 2015

BARCENA—There’s a war brewing in the bargain-priced depths of the worldwide smartphone market, Mozilla’s Firefox OS isn’t backing down in the face of overwhelming dominance.

Android already rules the smartphone scene in developing nations, its Android One program has been designed to cement that stranglehold. Sundar chai, Senior Vice esident at , made this explicit last year at I/O, in other interviews since then. But doesn’t worry  , Mozilla’s director of product for Firefox OS, who talked to us in a closed-door meeting at Mobile rld Congress.

“en Android One came out, they had an offering that was pretty consistent,” said. “But they came out at a starting point of above $100. en we launched a product in India, it was around $30.”


’s Fx0 Firefox OS phone.

I asked to explain how he’d pitch a Firefox OS device to someone looking at an Android One model. His response? “It’s a device that offers you flexibility choice, that lets you have a level of security, you’ll know that the organization behind it isn’t one that’s just looking out for themselves.”

Mozilla has been advertising Firefox OS this way to the 30 different countries where its hsets are sold. The company has its OS in some 16 devices right now, with price points that range from laughably low (to American sensibilities, at least) to exorbitant. For example, an entry-level Firefox OS device costs only $23 overseas, while the high-end Fx0, manufactured by priced at $500, comes with a 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor with 1.5GB RAM, a 2370mAh battery, 16GB of internal storage.

The Fx0 aside, the idea behind Firefox OS is to offer pure bang for your buck. “en we think about the first device for users, there are very specific needs. ice is a key factor,” said. “’re looking closely at the hardware manufacturers the operators to offer an aggressive, attractive plan with hardware that’s pretty decent.”