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Mozilla Cellphones Firefox

$33 Firefox Phone Launched In India 83

Posted by samzenpus
from the cheaper-by-the-dozen dept.
davidshenba writes Intex and Mozilla have launched Cloud FX, a smartphone powered by Mozilla's Firefox OS. The phone has a 1 GHz processor, 2 Megapixel camera, dual SIM, 3.5 inch capacitive touchscreen. Though the phone has limited features, initial reviews say that the build quality is good for the price range. With a price tag of $33 (2000 INR), and local languages support the new Firefox phone is hitting the Indian market of nearly 1 billion mobile users.
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$33 Firefox Phone Launched In India

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  • 33 Bucks?!? (Score:5, Informative)

    by SternisheFan (2529412) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @06:41PM (#47770575)
    If I didn't already have a $300 smartphone, I'd snap one of these up in a heartbeat. It does make and receive phone calls, right? Amazing...
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by YrWrstNtmr (564987)
      You do know that you can trot on down to WorstBuy and get a $40 LG tracfone. And yes, it does actually make phone calls. And text. And all that other crap.
      Is it limited as compared to your $300 smartphone? Sure. But its only $40.
      • You can shop around and find a Virgin Mobile smartphone for $40 too. Even an Android 4 one. Then the voice/data plan is $35/mo with no contract.

        • by afidel (530433)

          Or spend $149 on a Moto G on Republic Wireless, use the $25 plan and save money in less than a year (or if you don't mind just using WiFi for data go with the $10 plan and you're saving money by month 5), plus you get better service because unlike Virgin Mobile, Republic roams to Sprints partner networks.

          • Keyword is 'plan.' I like having zero commitment.

            I take weeks at a time off from having a smartphone. My 30 days starts up again as soon as I plop down another $35. If you don't renew, you've still got a good wifi pocket computer, far cheaper than an iPod touch, and with an sd slot.

            But anyways, all cheap mobile data options rock, it's great that they exist.

            • by afidel (530433)

              No, Republic is prepaid just like Virgin Mobile. I use plan as that's the monthly rate for that service level, in fact Republic is much more flexible than anyone else in the industry, you can change your plan twice per month, so you can be on the $10 call and text only plan and if you find yourself away from WiFi and in need of data to look up some important bit of information you can change over to the $25 3G plan, grab what you need and then revert to the $10 plan and your monthly bill will be around $11.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          God damn you Americans have to pay a lot for your voice and especially data... As a European, I hope our Communist/Marxist practice of free competition and anti-competitive practice laws never go away.

      • Yeah, not a bad deal. It's just that I don't ever want to go back to being charged for each minute/text message, been there done that.
      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        Is it limited as compared to your $300 smartphone? Sure. But its only $40.

        yes, but it's also limited as compared to this $33 phone. It's a feature phone, which today might as well be a dumbphone.

        • Well...the original comment seemed to be based on " does make and receive phone calls". So yeah, it does.
  • by sdguero (1112795) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @06:52PM (#47770649)
    Umm... I guess this assuming that 80% of the people in India are smart phone users. That last i heard, smart phone usage in the USA was around 65%.

    The average income in India is $1,500 USD/year vs the USA where it is $50,000 USD/year (roughly 33 times higher). $33 dollars doesn't sound like much to people in the USA, but that is 2.2% of the average Indian person's annual salary. That 2.2% number would be around $1100 outlay for the average American worker.

    Perspective is everything when you try compare the consumer market between countries like the USA and India.
    • And yet... that 80% mark is probably correct to some degree. Some villages only have one cell phone that everyone shares, but in the cities, that's how people communicate.

      So think of it as each person in India putting out $1100 for their phone, which they use in lieu of land line, TV and computer. Assuming it lasts as long as the Nokia phones they used to have, I can see this getting a high adoption rate, with a new phone, say, every 5 years.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        So think of it as each person in India putting out $1100 for their phone, which they use in lieu of land line, TV and computer.

        If you go back three years, that's pretty much what happened in Africa with the $80 Huawei Ideos Android phone.

        Android phone for $80 takes Africa by storm
        Huawei's Ideos phone has helped spearhead the movement, selling no less than 350,000 handsets in Kenya. Amazing given that nearly half the population makes do on less than two dollars per day.

        http://www.pocket-lint.com/new... [pocket-lint.com]

        Cheap Android phones have changed the way people work and live there, despite Android apps needing relatively beefy hardware to develop. Firefox OS and this phone will have the potential to bring the same real-life improvements, with the added advantage of a much simpler app development pathway.

      • by jma05 (897351) on Thursday August 28, 2014 @01:06AM (#47772189)

        > Some villages only have one cell phone that everyone shares

        You don't seem to be talking from experience and seem to be simply conjecturing. I am in India. I have never heard of any village sharing just one cell phone. It is not even plausible. Now, it used to be, several decades ago, that there were just a handful of landlines per village. But a cell tower will not be setup unless the provider is sure that there is demand for enough to make an economic case. And there always is. Mobile phones are not expensive (but not cheaper than the cheap options in US). Mobile plans are however incredibly cheap compared to US. I know poor ($13 rent for a family of 4) families in India who have multiple mobile phones, one per working adult.

        > So think of it as each person in India putting out $1100 for their phone

        Poor people are not buying smartphones yet (its the lower middle class and up that is driving smart phones now). They still buy Nokia dumb phones and are now beginning to shift to cheap Android phones at $100. Firefox Phone helps by further lowering that barrier of entry. The minimum monthly talk refill plan I know is 30 *cents*... very cheap. You may not get many outgoing minutes, but you don't get charged for incoming calls, unlike US. So everyone in India who needs one, can afford a mobile phone plan.

        $1100 for a phone is very expensive in India. I know several people who have them, but they are all rich. And it is often a status symbol rather than for an actual need.

        > which they use in lieu of land line, TV and computer

        No one in India uses a smart phone in lieu of a TV. Having cable TV (60-80 channels) in India is very cheap ($3 per month in poor neighborhoods). Indian mobile data plans start very cheap ($2) but are not robust enough to be used for routine video consumption yet. They won't be replacing TV anytime soon. Anyone who owns a $1100 mobile phone already has a pricey HDTV.

        Mobile phones are also not replacing computers yet since most of the phone users, unlike US, were not computer users to begin with. People here use cheap service stations nearby, to pay bills online, where the operator sits in front of an online PC, accepts cash and pays bills for a few cents of service charge. This is much simpler for most people than using data plans and mobile web apps, for now. Around here (a small town), there is such a tiny store for every neighborhood and they provide small jobs that serve populace that is not yet computer savvy enough.

        • by Carewolf (581105)

          You don't seem to be talking from experience and seem to be simply conjecturing. I am in India. I have never heard of any village sharing just one cell phone. It is not even plausible.

          It isnt? I know several towns in Western Europe that used to share a single cell tower. There are different types of towers, and the big ones used in rural areas have much longer range (in km) than those used in cities (100m). The main limit is how many concurrent connections the tower can handle.

          • by jma05 (897351)

            > I know several towns in Western Europe that used to share a single cell tower.

            You are talking about having a single cell tower. The parent and I are talking about having a single shared cell phone for the entire village. It used to happen back in the land line era when a village might have had just one or two pay phones, but not now.

            • Which part of India are you in? My info is all second/third hand, but I'm not talking about the cities or surrounding areas -- that's why I made the comment about the Nokia phones for those areas.

              Any way you look at it, Nokia rules the airwaves, and smartphones will still be for the richer, unless the prices continue to come down. But some people I've talked to have indeed switched from TV to smartphone, and that's in the city outskirts. If they want to see a sporting event, etc. they go to a friend's pl

              • by jma05 (897351)

                > Which part of India are you in?

                South.

                > But some people I've talked to have indeed switched from TV to smartphone, and that's in the city outskirts.

                Yes. So have I (I am in the outskirts of a small town, BTW). I do not watch any TV here and entirely consume my video via Internet (from my residential connection). But I do not represent an average Indian and would be a statistical outlier. So would the Indians that you are in contact with likely be. The Indians who work in engineering and science, espe

    • Apparently the less affluent use their phones in lieu of a PC/radio/TV. Some parts of the world even use phones to manage microfinancing [wikipedia.org].

      Phones are ideal for these people in many ways especially in rural areas, where a constant electricity is rare.
    • by narcc (412956) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @07:14PM (#47770793) Journal

      But it's significantly less than competing smartphone alternatives in that market. The price is even lower than many feature phones (most, if you only count dual-sim models) at just Rs 2000.

      It's still a big investment, sure, but you're getting a LOT more bang for your rupees.

    • I noticed this comment had got a five early on...basing on assumptions that the big powerful USA has all the money its smartphone ownership percentage should be highest, I find this astonishing.

      The link at the bottom is linked to(Slashdot will not accept a direct link) to Googles amazing tool where TNS have released their survey data on 54 countries and ownership of smartphones, and guess what USA is only the 19th country of percentage of smartphone ownership per person, drawing with Canada. India is alrea

      • 86 million smartphones means that 1000 million phones of any type is realistic? I don't get your logic at all.

        So I read the link you provided, meaning I'm no longer ignorant unless you are intentionally hiding relevant information, but I still don't think this paints a picture of a billion users being realistic.

        Comparing American and Indian markets doesn't make a lot of sense, but it does give a point of comparison.

        And we have someone like by Em Adespoton above, suggesting that this phone will replace phon

          • I am astounded of your ignorance of Americans, when I know you should be saying U.S.A.(ians).
          • However, you are to be excused, because we know we really are the only Americans that count.
          • Furthermore, we know the Earth is the Center of the Universe and the U.S. of A. acts as its bull's eye.
          • Moreover, we know that scientists are feeding us phony facts. Who cares if some third world contiries are flooded out - it's God's will or it would not happen.
          • Another fact, unlike the ignorance shown by all those n
      • by n1ywb (555767)

        The ignorance of people is astonishing.

        FIFY. I've been around the world and in my experience people from other countries know as little about the USA as people from the USA know about other countries. Also America is a pair of continents, not a country. Canada, Mexica, and Brazil are all in "America".

    • "$33 dollars doesn't sound like much to people in the USA, but that is 2.2% of the average Indian person's annual salary"

      Well somebody can afford them. In 2013: 4.14 million tablets sold, nine million iPads sold and 80.57 million [thehindu.com] smart phones by year end.
    • by Charliemopps (1157495) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @09:03PM (#47771405)

      It's 1 billion mobile users, not smartphone users. When I was in Africa, everyone had a feature phone... everyone. You could buy them at Kiosks for less than $10, and phone cards to fill them with minutes. A $300 phone would be completely insane there... but a $33 phone? Yea, they'd have to save up but that's doable. Especially when a lot of people I ran into were using the feature phone like a desktop... running entire businesses off the things.

      • Not even 1B mobile users. Indian has a relatively younger population than US and other first world countries. I'd expect that, because of poverty, most mom and pops there (who themselves own/share a cellphone) would be unwilling to spend extra to equip their children until they reach the where they can earn enough to at least work for their airtime. So no vanity sexting there, just the necessary communication.

        • Wikipedia says 904,510,000 mobile phones in India. Round it off to a billion. Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L... [wikipedia.org]

          • I'd be skeptical in correlating the number of phones vs the number of users.

            A number of countries on that list have more phones that people. I'm not sure the %age of folks that have more than 1 active handset...

            • Well, the statistic cited by the parent is interesting. I might be wrong in assuming that Indian kids don't get their own cellphones (maybe majority of them do have their own dumb/feature phone). Since India is a poorer country than the US, where people seem to have more of one device per device category, I'd expect a closer to 1:1 correspondence between number of cellphones to number of users, since more people wouldn't have the money to buy a second or third phone.
            • If you're a company selling phones or making firefox os, the number of phones is probably more interesting than the number of people.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Average numbers aren't very useful in this context. Actually, they aren't very useful in many contexts. I imagine the income distribution in India is vastly different to what it is in the USA.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Ok ... Indian here. 2000 rs is very very affordable to the average urban Indian. The average day laborer in South India gets ~500 rs / day if unskilled, and ~750 rs if skilled. That is about $10 - 12 /day. They already spend between 2000 and 5000 rs on the phones today. Even though this is a substantial amount, most people still go ahead with the purchase because it is really a one time cost. On most networks incoming calls are free and outgoing is about 1rs/ minute or lower. The rental plans are about 100

    • They don't have mandated POTS service to every residence, so for many (most I'd wager) wireless is the only phone service available.

      What percentage of Americans do you think have at least time type of phone service?
    • When I worked for a mobile app startup, we saw major usage spikes in Indonesia, India and the Middle East, as well as some African countries. They required data. Part of this is that they pretty much skipped the whole landline thing for the majority of the populations, so they could jump ahead on the technology curve.

      I would not be surprised to see the 80% figure being true, even with the income difference.

  • Much as I respect Mozilla as an organisation, even a quad core phone is worse at interpreting web-stack apps than byte-compiled or actual compiled code. I don't understand how lower processing power and higher processing requirements are going to solve anybody's problems.

  • Why would someone buy one of these when you could just buy a top of the line 3 year old phone like the Galaxy Nexus for the same price while absolutely blowing it away on specs...

  • The last UX conference I was at we had a speaker that demonstrated that the next 1-2 billion "smart" phone users were coming from Africa and Asia where more modern devices didn't stand a chance in the majority of the market. From a cost per device point of view, sure, but more from the fact that we are creating first world apps, UIs and OSes that might not have anywhere near the traction they have here because of completely different needs. He saw an incredible opportunity there.
  • Can't wait to see how the market for chargers batteries and charge stations take off. There everyone is so use to 10 day standby.

  • A phone with 128mb of RAM running apps written in javascript on an ARM processor. Good luck with that.

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