In a strange turn of events, Mozilla, the team behind projects such as Firefox and Thunderbird, is putting a serious effort into what will be known as the Firefox Mobile OS, an HTML5-based operating system that will run on a variety of phones.
Mozilla has already garnered support from a hardware manufacturer, as well as several carriers, including the Brazilian carrier Vivo, which will be the first carrier to offer devices equipped with the new OS in early 2013.
The entire operating system is built around the open standards of HTML5, allowing all of the device capabilities to be built as HTML5 applications. This is a stark contrast to the closed, rather locked down nature of the iOS ecosystem.
Mozilla’s hardware partner, unfortunately, is the TCL Corporation, traditionally known for their cheaper phones. At an entry level like this, Mozilla’s phones will likely be more competitive to Apple’s budget iPhone line, currently filled by the iPhone 3GS, rather than the iPhone 4S or even the previous iPhone 4.
An OS like this is certainly interesting, considering that Mozilla has very limited experience in the mobile software world, having yet to release a version of Firefox for iOS, offering only the Firefox Home app, a simple tool for accessing your browser data stored on the desktop.
Firefox as a whole has also fallen behind the competition, especially on OS X, which also raises the question as to whether or not Mozilla can even make an operating system competitive enough to stand up to the likes of iOS and Android.