Firefox OS Based Handsets Not Coming To India This Year

By: Anuj Bhatia

Earlier this year at Mobile World Congress (MWC), 2013, Mozilla, announced the coming of Firefox OS. The California based internet browser giant, has tied up with at least 18 global network operators around the world, to promote its web-based open platform. Firefox OS is a brand new mobile OS, especially made for the developing world. The new OS is based around a browser and supports web -based standards- HTML 5, CSS, and Java Script.

As many as nine countries will get to taste Firefox OS powered handsets. Neither the platform nor the devices to support Firefox kills Google's Android OS. The platform has been conceived to convert millions of mobile users, who are still stuck with same old Nokia, Ericsson, and Motorola devices. Interestingly, Indian consumers won't get to see Firefox OS powered handsets, at least, in 2013. The Economic Times is now reporting that this year India is not on a targeted list, where Firefox is hunting opportunities.

Firefox OS Based Handsets Not Coming To India This Year

"We are targeting the emerging markets for the first versions. We know that the biggest opportunity in mobile is in this segment and we want to offer a Firefox quality, entry-level smartphone experience in this part of the world," Mozilla said in an emailed statement in response to an ET questionnaire about the company's India plans. "However at this time we cannot confirm any specific timeline for when additional markets supporting Firefox OS will be announced." as told to ET by Mozilla, the brain behind Firefox OS.

In general, Firefox shares very deep rooted relationship with network operators. Particularly, in western world where handsets can made available to consumers on minimum 2 year contract, it is a tested model for Firefox to sell even cheap handsets there. In case of India, where network operators have no role to play in the decision making or selling the handsets directly to consumers; this is an odd practice in the eyes of Firefox.

It is to be seen how practical the Firefox OS in comparison to Android OS is in regards to Indian market. Now a days there are many India-based tech vendor who have or coming up with dirt cheap Android OS powered handsets. For instance - Micromax Bolt A27 is an Android OS powered handset with a 3.5-inch display, 1-Ghz processor, and dual SIM. The device sells for Rs. 3499 in the Indian market.

Recently, Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman, Google, paid a visit to India. He expressed his wish to have a smartphone costing less than Rs.2500. Nokia, who currently rules feature handset market, has started innovating its Asha lineup with more ‘ connected features' . In the coming days, one could hear a complete revamp or something stunning handset under Asha range.

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