Spreadtrum and Mozilla take aim at global Smartphone accessibility
Spreadtrum Communications Inc., a fabless semiconductor company in China with advanced technology in 2G, 3G and 4G wireless communications standards, has teamed up with web platform creators Mozilla to deliver a turnkey solution for USD$25 Smartphones.
The announcement was made at the recent Mobile World Congress in Barcelona Spain. These solutions expand the global accessibility of open Web smartphones to first-time and entry-level smartphone buyers by reducing the time and cost required for handset makers to bring these devices to market. Spreadtrum and Mozilla have now completed the integration of Firefox OS with several of Spreadtrum’s WCDMA and EDGE smartphone chipsets, including the SC6821, unveiled by Spreadtrum as the industry’s first chipset for US$25 smartphones.
“The combination of Firefox OS with Spreadtrum’s entry-level smartphone platforms has the potential to dramatically extend the reach of smartphones and the Web globally,” said Dr. Li Gong, Mozilla senior vice president of mobile devices and president of Asia Operations. “Firefox OS delivers a customized, fun and intuitive experience for first-time smartphone buyers and our collaboration with Spreadtrum enables the industry to offer customers an extremely affordable way to get a smartphone and connect with Web apps.”
Spreadtrum’s SC6821 smartphone chipset aims to redefine the entry level of the global smartphone market. The chipset is designed with a unique low memory configuration and high level of integration that dramatically reduces the total bill of materials required to develop low-end smartphones. With this chipset, handset makers will be able to bring to market smartphones with 3.5″ HVGA touchscreens, integrated WiFi, Bluetooth, FM and camera functions, the advanced phone and browser features of Firefox OS, and access to a rich ecosystem of web and HTML5 applications, at prices similar to much more minimally featured budget feature phones.
Spreadtrum’s turnkey reference design brings together this highly cost-effective chipset platform with the intuitive, easy-to-use experience and Web/HTML5 application ecosystem of Firefox OS. “Turnkey solutions benefit the vast majority of small handset makers by reducing the time and cost involved in bringing new devices to market,” adds Stuart Robinson, analyst at Strategy Analytics. “This joint effort will help make Firefox OS more readily available to handset makers that focus on the needs of entry level smartphone buyers in emerging markets.”
Firefox OS is powered completely by Web technologies to deliver the performance, personalization and price users are seeking. Firefox OS has all the things users need from a smartphone, as well as the things they want like built-in social integration with Facebook and Twitter, HERE Maps with offline capabilities, much-loved features like the Firefox Web browser, the Firefox Marketplace for apps and more. Firefox OS features a brand new concept for smartphones – an adaptive app search that literally transforms the phone to meet a user’s needs and interests at any moment.
“By integrating Firefox OS support with our smartphone platforms, we are providing our customers with flexibility and choice in how they develop and design their smartphones as well as access to the increasingly rich base of HTML5 applications that are available on this platform,” says Xiaomao Xiao, Spreadtrum’s vice president of software development.