The smart phone has really only been around for a bit less than 10 years in it’s current form. Now, some companies are trying to enter the market for smartphones in the developing world.
Since Telefónica launched the first Firefox OS smartphone, the ZTE Open, in July of last year, Firefox OS has been picked up by three more device makers and is available in 15 markets. Now, Mozilla is collaborating with chipmaker, Spreadtrum, on a prototype Firefox OS model that would cost a mere $25.
The phone won’t have all the features you would expect of a fully-fledged smartphone, but it has the fundamental apps for video, social networking, browsing online, phone calls, and texting. Enough for folks to get their foot in the door.
Now keep in mind that a smartphone for $25 would be barely functional really but they will improve rapidly in the next few years. Remember, $25 can buy you a certain level of performance this year but will buy you twice that much next year. Who knows how much phone you can buy for $25 in 5 years time?
This gets people online. The next thing that has to happen is the provide realtime translation of everything; websites, videos, and voice. This will happen because it’s much more economical to do this than to try to create new versions of everything in every language. On top of that will be machine generated content tailored for these new communities of users. All this stuff will probably mature at the same time. That is a stormfront of change.
Once that happens, then the developing world will be able to access the educational resources the Internet offers. They will have a world of opportunity open up to them, which will be amazing.
Low cost smartphones, plus realtime translation is a world changer and an education changer.