Mozilla Firefox are to step up their battle against Apple when they launch their first ever Smartphone. The phone will launch in partnership with Telefonica (O2 in the United Kingdom).
The release marks the first proper application of Mozilla’s mobile technology. Essentially, Mozilla are entering the smart phone operating system battle, which up until now has been a duopoly between Apple and the Google Android systems.
The smart phone will be called the ZTE Open, and will debut in Spain. Priced at the equivalent of £69 / $90 per month, over the duration of a two year contract, the phone will be targeting the mid-tier of the smart phone market. Its therefore likely to compete strongest against a number of Nokia offerings, as well as lower spec Android phones. All of that presumes that Apple remain at the top end of the market, although that could change, if as rumoured, they choose to release a ‘lite’ iPhone alongside the bigger launch this September.
The focus for Mozilla and its partner carriers is the developing world, where smart phone growth is still undergoing the kind of exponential growth which leaves room in the market for a new entrant.
Therefore Spain, a market which is currently dominated by Android will come first. This will be followed by a swift move towards Latin America, where countries like Argentina, Brazil and Mexico are expected to be targeted as part of the first roll-out. Back in Europe, the eastern block is another strong target market, where the penetration of smart phones sits at a measly 21% (Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers research)
So what will the ZTE One deliver?
You’ll get a 3.5 inch screen, which positions the device as compact in the age of phablets. You’ll get a basic 256G Ram, with an additional 4GB SD card for additional storage. In addition, the phone will feature a 3.3 million MP camera. So all things considered, the spec is quite light compared to the current crop of phones, but its important to remember the target market.
One of the few advanced features will be the ZTE’s search functionality. Firefox have partnered with a firm called everything.me in order to deliver a “adaptive app search”. Telefonica are an investor in everything.me, who are slowly becoming a significant player in the android marketplace. The feature will allow advanced searching across mobile specific websites and within smart phone apps.