At the ongoing Mobile Wor4ld Congress 2013, as far as I am concerned, the big news is the launch of Firefox OS and two devices on the platform. Both ZTE and Alcatel have a smartphone each hitting the market this year – ZTE Open and Alcatel OT Fire. In addition, Firefox OS phones from LG and Huawei are expected soon too.
That is 18 mobile operators including China Unicom and four manufacturers already on board. Those manufacturers may not be the top dogs, but they include some of the most aggressive. Imagine the possibilities. Also, from what we have seen so far, it appears that Firefox OS is light on resources. Perhaps this is that first world smartphone for third world mobile networks that we talked about last year?
Also, Samsung has finally officially announced the retirement of Bada OS and its replacement with Tizen OS. But we knew that all along; didn’t we? Bada smartphones won’t be able to upgrade to Tizen, but Bada apps will run on Tizen OS phones. As I have said earlier, Tizen is a smart move by Samsung to own both the OS and the hardware, and should Samsung convert just 25% of its smartphone market to Tizen, BlackBerry and Windows Phone might be in for sleepless nights.
If there are any potential alternatives to Android OS at the moment, I have both Firefox OS and Tizen OS in my sights, and if one of them does very well, even iOS is likely to end up in 3rd place in the smartphone market. I am excited to see these alternatives looking promising. Here is hoping that implementation works out as good as they look right now.
Sony too has announced that they will be launching a Firefox OS mobile device in 2014, bringing the number of OEMs abord Firefox OS to five. This party gets better & better.