Mozilla CTO says Firefox OS will disrupt the smartphone market by targeting the developing world

Mozilla CTO Brendan Eich has revealed a key aim of the Firefox OS smartphone platform will be to disrupt the market by targeting low-end devices in the developing world.

Currently, smartphones account for 158 million of the 419 million mobile phones sold worldwide each quarter, with the remainder made up of feature phones.

However, as SmartCompany reported in July, low-cost low-end $50 smartphones are expected to begin hitting the market in China by the end of the year.

In an interview with TechWeek Europe, Eich reveals FirefoxOS will be designed to work on low-end smartphones with 256 megabytes of memory and a single-core 700 to 800MHz CPU.

“We see an opportunity to serve users by converting them from feature phones to inexpensive smartphones. The action is in the emerging market, not going up against the top end of the market in the US, where Android is chasing Apple,” says Eich.

“In Brazil, Android phones are not cheap and they are running Android [version] 2 or 3, and that is not a good proposition. In a year the price will come down, but some of the apps will stop working.”

“We are not reinventing the Linux kernel and the device layer. We are using the shared resource of Linux on smartphones, building on a kernel that Qualcomm and the like already know how to build a phone on. On top of that we are only adding the web, so we have a thinner stack.”

“We don’t want Firefox OS everywhere, we want everyone to use a web based OS. We are pioneering a new category: Boot to Web.”

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