Mozilla aiming low with laggy Firefox OS phones, hopes to beat Android in emerging markets

Mozilla aiming low with laggy Firefox OS phones, hopes to beat Android in emerging marketsRewind your brains back to Mobile World Congress 2013, and you might recall we got a sneak peek at the first Mozilla Firefox OS phones. They were unanimously hailed as laggy and ultimately unimpressive, though – to be fair – they aren’t exactly intended to take on the iPhone and Samsung Galaxy flagships.

One of those phones – the ZTE Open – goes on sale in Spain today, and while the Firefox OS lag is reportedly still present, Mozilla has high hopes.

Attending a Mozilla event yesterday, The Verge says Firefox OS is “as unimpressive as ever”. Oh dear.

However, Brendan Eich, co-founder and CTO of Mozilla, was significantly more positive about the whole Firefox OS thing.

"We are not aiming high and trying to crash into Fortress Apple, into Fortress Google," explains Brendan.

Instead, Mozilla’s Firefox OS will focus on the low end, where Apple currently has zero presence (the iPhone 4 doesn’t quite qualify as “budget”). But what about Google’s Android?

There’s no shortage of cheap Android phones, sure, but Brendan reckons Google’s OS isn’t ideal at the lower end. Conversely, the latest version “wants a gig” of RAM. As for Firefox OS, it’s happy(ish) with 256MB.

Brendan & Co clearly think they’re onto something, but one of the key features of Key Lime Pie is expected to be compatibility with low-end phones. It’s a crucial area for Android, helping it secure its current position as the world’s most popular smartphone operating system.

Is there room at the bottom for Mozilla’s Firefox OS? Have your say below, chums.

Read more about: Android

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5 comments

JanSt / MOD  Jul. 2, 2013 at 14:13

I give it a "nope"!
Crashing the low-end Android market would require something that low-end Androids don't offer.
What could that be? Had Mozilla set up BIS-like servers to compress data and thus empower people in 3G and WiFi-less regions - that might have been appealing. Heck, I would get a FF phone for backup in Irelands patchily covered West.
But none of that is happening.
What else? Mozilla have been trying to code a mobile browser for almost 10 years - WinMo, Maemo, MeeGo, Android... They all suck. Only use for it is the ability to synch desktop bookmarks and such. Oh, and plugins. Hahaha

Nah... Wasted effort imho.
Curious how both Mozilla and Opera kinda mis-judged the smartphone bubble and the changed ways in which people use the web on the go.

Stelph  Jul. 2, 2013 at 16:00

I had read an interesting discussion on hte mozilla mobile and how really they are not aiming at the end user, instead they are aiming at being embraced by the networks (who will love the fact they can easily set up their own app stores to sell their own apps) to try and have the networks push these phones over other "cheap" alernatives

Its an interesting strategy if its true

JanSt / MOD  Jul. 2, 2013 at 17:11

I had read an interesting discussion on hte mozilla mobile and how really they are not aiming at the end user, instead they are aiming at being embraced by the networks (who will love the fact they can easily set up their own app stores to sell their own apps) to try and have the networks push these phones over other "cheap" alernatives

Its an interesting strategy if its true
Possibly. Yes. But networks are lazy. And they know their staff... the cognitive dissonance caused by having to learn a new OS and recommending it over dozens of similar Android devices, will cause loadsa "ahem" and "errrm"...

CTPAHHIK  Jul. 2, 2013 at 17:39

Future is not looking bright for Mozilla. There is definitely enough space for Mozilla OS to squeeze in and grab a piece of smartphone market. However, it will be an uphill battle that will most likely take ages to pay off.

Having a separate app store doesn't make much sense. I think every phone manufactures offers their own variant of app store - Samsung, Sony, etc. Has anyone actually used them? I've stopped being bothered with Amazon due to slow updates and if price is the same what's the problem with sticking to Google Play?

Why not just get your sh*t together and develop kick ass cross platform browser?

JanSt / MOD  Jul. 2, 2013 at 17:45

Future is not looking bright for Mozilla. There is definitely enough space for Mozilla OS to squeeze in and grab a piece of smartphone market. However, it will be an uphill battle that will most likely take ages to pay off.

Having a separate app store doesn't make much sense. I think every phone manufactures offers their own variant of app store - Samsung, Sony, etc. Has anyone actually used them? I've stopped being bothered with Amazon due to slow updates and if price is the same what's the problem with sticking to Google Play?


True... I checked out Samsung's appstore on my OH's Galaxy Camera. It's slow, search is idiotic and apps seem to be randomly assigned to categories that say as little as possible. And why register again and again when you can just as well use the Play Store?

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