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Firefox Businesses Cellphones Handhelds Mozilla Hardware Technology

Firefox OS Smartphones Launching, But Will Anyone Buy One? 127

Posted by samzenpus
from the making-the-call dept.
Nerval's Lobster writes "Mozilla and its hardware partners have begun launching the first Firefox OS smartphones, starting with Spain's Telefonica releasing the ZTE Open later this week. A lightweight mobile OS based on HTML5, Firefox OS (once known as 'Boot to Gecko') offers a user interface instantly familiar to anyone who's used Google Android or Apple iOS: in addition to home-screens of individual apps arranged on a grid, features include messaging, email, built-in social-networking, maps, and the Firefox Web browser. There's also Firefox Marketplace, an online storefront of HTML5 apps; early apps include Twitter, Facebook, AccuWeather, and a handful of games. But can Firefox OS make any headway in a mobile-device crowded with options? At this February's Mobile World Congress, Mozilla claimed that some 17 operators around the world have committed to the Firefox OS initiative, including China Unicom, Sprint, MegaFon, and the Telecom Italia Group. But many of those operators released rather ambiguous statements about whether they would launch an actual Firefox OS smartphone. Tony Cripps, principal device analyst at Ovum, wrote in a research note earlier this year that 'the real acid test for Firefox OS and its long-term prospects is the quality of the software itself and the user and developer experiences that it fosters.' In other words, Mozilla and its partners need to produce some quality devices, paired with a variety of spectacular apps. Some early reviews of the ZTE Open weren't good, to put it mildly, with The Verge citing: 'unremarkable hardware' and a 'laggy' OS. But that doesn't mean future phones can't go toe-to-toe against anything else on the market, provided Mozilla and its partners provide solid support and marketing."
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Firefox OS Smartphones Launching, But Will Anyone Buy One?

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  • Re:Oh thank ${DIETY} (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 01, 2013 @11:27AM (#44154513)

    Does it spy on you less than Google's offering?

    Is it more affordable and generally compatible than Apple's offering?

    If so, then the world does, in fact, need it.

  • by pijokela (462279) on Monday July 01, 2013 @11:27AM (#44154517)

    IMO it would make more sense to use Firefox OS as a runtime on other smart phones. This way you could write a HTML 5 APP and it would work on browsers and in the Firefox OS runtime in any smart phone... sort of like what Java was supposed to be.

    Any idea if something like this is actually being done?

    Together all these niche phones would have a chance, but if all of them want to have their own app store and walled garden, they will all fail.

  • by pmontra (738736) on Monday July 01, 2013 @11:59AM (#44154907) Homepage
    Go look at the desktop version of this site [slashdot.org] with Firefox 22 for Android and you'll see why Mozilla is going to have a hard time with their OS. It's a mix of Mozilla's poor technical choices (look at the same site with Dolphin HD or the stock browser) and sites caring only about Webkit mobile browsers.
  • by tuppe666 (904118) on Monday July 01, 2013 @12:03PM (#44154957)

    So they produced something that sucks, but if they improve what they do, they can produce something in the future that doesn't suck?

    The problem was the review (in context of your Microsoft comments they get a free pass too often and are blocking the market for Fledging OS's), is that A €69 / $90 (including €30 / $39 balance) for prepay customers was not compared as one. These are not flagship products they are aimed at the very bottom of the smartphone market. Now admittedly hardware in that market is getting better. I notice http://www.gizchina.com/2013/06/27/goophone-x1-set-to-be-worlds-cheapest-quad-core-phone-at-less-than-100/ [gizchina.com] Goophone are planning on selling a quad core phone for $100...but that in an uncertain future.

    The bottom line is I saw some pretty advanced phones for very little money.

The unfacts, did we have them, are too imprecisely few to warrant our certitude.

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