It may not win awards, or become the most popular trendy smartphone on the market, but the non-profit organization behind the Firefox web browser have announced handsets based on its own operating system. According to Mozilla, 18 operators have signed up to sell the phone.
The new Firefox smartphone has been described by Firefox as an “open alternative”, and will target the cheaper end of the market, being released first in the developing world and eastern Europe.
Some major smartphone producers have signed up to build more devices, and the Firefox OS which is based on HTML 5 web programming language could make it easier for developers to build new apps for the phone.
One of the major reasons why the new OS will find it difficult to really break into the mainstream market was highlighted by Nick Dillon, an analyst with research firm Ovum:
Ovum also warned that the new Firefox OS is currently “slow and buggy” and that they could not “hide behind price as a justification for poor performance”. However, this is unlikely to stop Firefox pushing ahead. They know what it is like to struggle in a competitive marketplace and succeed, as their browser demonstrates. If they can find a niche market in the developing world where people don’t have as much money to spend on a smartphone, then they may well find this first step propel them into a nice (but small) market share.
If you are hoping to get your hands on one of these, then you will have to wait. it is first being launched in Brazil, Columbia, Mexico, Poland, Hungary, Montenegro, Serbia, Spain and Venezuela.
In case you are interested, here is some screenshots of the OS: