Yesterday we showed you the ZTE Open, the first entry-level smartphone running Mozilla’s new Firefox OS. Other companies, like Sony, are planning to release Firefox OS phones as well. Mozilla has been trying to get the word out at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
During a recent talk at MWC, Mozilla CEO Gary Kovacs touted Firefox OS as a new platform to disrupt Android and Apple’s hold on the industry.
“I find it impossible to understand how 3, 4, 5, or 6 billion people are going to get their diverse needs satisfied by one or two or five companies, no matter how delicious those companies are,” Kovacs said, according to CNET. “Is the farmer in the Indian countryside going to have the same needs and requirements as a lawyer sitting in New York?”
That’s a very good point. “Deliciousness” isn’t everything, whatever that means.
“There’s a Web for that” is the tagline for Firefox OS because the platform is totally web-based. Mozilla sees this as an advantage that will entice web developers, but there’s a big tradeoff: Firefox OS is incapable of running robust applications that are natively built to take full advantage of hardware. Also, the initial hardware running Firefox OS is far from impressive.
Mozilla’s only hope will be to gain traction in emerging markets where customers need cheap smartphones. Until Apple releases some sort of budget iPhone, Android will reign in the entry-level segment of the smartphone market. With a mobile OS that’s basically a glorified web browser, Mozilla doesn’t stand a chance.