Early Firefox OS Phones Stay Focused on Low End, and Emerging Markets

by Ostatic Staff - Jul. 09, 2013

This week, as announced on the Mozilla Hacks blog, the first Firefox OS phones went out in stores in Madrid, Spain, for sale by Telefónica. As it made clear early on, Mozilla is focused on emerging markets as it reshapes its company strategy around Firefox OS and mobile tech. The company plans to roll out phones in five countries initially: Venezuela, Poland, Brazil, Portugal and Spain.

Meanwhile, Mozilla has also facilitated payments for apps and in-app payments, both of which could help seed a healthy early market for developers to make money from their apps.

The ZTE Open phone is now available in Spain for €69 ($88.80), and, yes, you can expect to see the word "open" used for branding purposes as these phones roll out.  Mozilla Hacks officially announced the news about payments for apps and in-app payments:

"As part of the Firefox OS offering, we have the Firefox Marketplace, where you can upload and share your apps. We are also happy to say that if you are interested in accepting payments for your app, this is the place!

They are described in the Payments page as part of the Developer Hub aimed at app developers, and we’ve also written about them here before in Building A Paid App For Firefox OS."

 If you haven't yet tried Firefox OS, you can still do via the Firefox OS simulator, which you can run on a computer. The Firefox OS Simulator is also where many developers are testing their early apps for the operating system.

You can expect Mozilla to expand the number of regions these phones arrive in rapidly. There is already talk of delivering phones in Colombia.

Mozilla is, so far, not wavering from its focus on lower-end phones for emerging markets. At the All Things D conference a few months ago, Mozilla CEO Gary Kovacs was quoted as follows:

"In Silicon Valley we tend to see the world through high-end devices. But that’s not true in the rest of the world. So in the short term, we’re launching in emerging markets where Firefox is particularly strong. … It didn’t make sense for us to launch a version-one device around the world."

We'll keep the updates coming on these early Firefox OS phones, and there appears to be much interest in them so far.