Mozilla aims to break Indian mobile market with $33 smartphone

Internet browser group Mozilla has followed in Google’s footsteps by releasing a mobile device - with one difference; its smartphone will cost merely $33 - as it looks to capitalise on the growing Indian market.

The ‘Intel Cloud FX’ will be exclusively available online from Indian retailer Snapdeal, and will run on Mozilla's latest Firefox operating system.

It has a 1.0 GHz processor and expandable memory of up to 4GB in addition to dual-SIM capabilities, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. It also supports the Hindi and Tamil languages.

Instead of competing with high-end devices from Samsung and Apple, the phone will provide a cheap alternative to non-internet enabled mobiles that are rapidly being replaced in the Indian market.

Dr Li Gong, president of Mozilla, said: “It is exciting to see the Intex Cloud FX now available as the first Firefox OS device in India and Asia. The positive consumer feedback from other markets tells us that people like the unique user experience and openness we’re building with Firefox OS.

“With support from Intex, Firefox OS smartphones in the ultra-low-cost category will redefine the entry-level smartphone and create strong momentum in Asia.”

Keshav Bansal, director of marketing ay Intex Technologies, said: “The launch of Intex Cloud FX marks the beginning of a new era of the Indian smartphone market and Intex is proud to be the first Indian company to understand and deliver on market needs.

“With the launch of Intex Cloud FX, we aim to enable the masses to get smartphone experience at the cost of a feature phone. We are delighted to partner with Snapdeal, the partnership allows us to offer the smartphone pan-India at a revolutionary cost.”

There will be a shortage of apps for the Intex on release although third-parties will develop services for social networks such as Whatsapp and Instagram.

This comes after the troubled search-engine group’s chief executive, Brendan Eich, stood down earlier this year after drawing criticism for supporting an anti-gay marriage campaign.