A smartphone that costs just $36 Cdn and runs Firefox OS has been launched this week in India, a country where smartphone adoption is skyrocketing.
The Intex Cloud FX, billed as the country's lowest priced smartphone, was announced by Mountain View, Calif.-based Mozilla and New Delhi-based Intex Technologies.
"With support from Intex, Firefox OS smartphones in the ultra-low-cost category will redefine the entry-level smartphone,” said Li Gong, president of Mozilla, in a statement.
Intex says the phone will sell for 1999 rupees.
According to business consulting giant Deloitte, the number of smartphone users in India is expected to surpass 104 million in 2014, nearly doubling the 51 million in 2013.
The new phone has a screen that's just 3.5 inches wide and HVGA, not high definition. It includes standard features such as such as WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity.
As might be expected, its 1 GHz processor and 2 MP camera are inferior to those of mid-range smartphones. It starts with just 256 MB of memory, but that is expandable to 4GB.
The phone also has slots for two SIM cards — a capability that many higher-end smartphones don't have — allowing users to switch between two carriers or plans. It also has a built-in usage monitor.
The phone runs Firefox OS, a Linux-based mobile operating system made by the non-profit organization Mozilla, which is best known for its Firefox web browser. Firefox has been mainly targeting the developing world, especially Latin America, with low-end smartphones made by Alcatel, LG, Huawei and ZTE.
The Intex Cloud FX is its first phone in Asia.