Microsoft Mobile’s abdication of the feature phone market said to stimulate Firefox OS, Tizen sales

Reading time icon 1 min. read

Readers help support MSPoweruser. When you make a purchase using links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Tooltip Icon

Read the affiliate disclosure page to find out how can you help MSPoweruser effortlessly and without spending any money. Read more


Digitimes reports that Microsoft plans to phase out feature phones, and that this will stimulate the sale of super-cheap smartphones running emerging operating systems such as Tizen and Firefox OS.

The phones, which would cost as little as $30 unlocked,will serve demand by regional telecom operators for handsets for first time smartphone owners.

Mozilla has teamed up with China-based handset makers including TCL, ZTE, Huawei as well as chipset vendor Spreadtrum Communications to form a supply chain for Firefox smartphones and has launched 14 models in 30 markets.

Meanwhile, Samsung is expected to launch its first Tizen-based smartphone, the Z1, in early 2015. The Z1 is expected to come with a 4-inch display, 1.2 GHz dual-core processor and priced below US$100, the sources noted.

Gartner expects only 10% of more than 2 billion phones in 2018 will still be feature phones, making the market for low-cost smartphones very large.

Do our readers feel Microsoft should be pursuing this market with Windows Phone-lite instead, or will these “junk” phones merely serve as a stepping stone to proper smartphones?