While the established mobile platforms are busy slugging it out at the top, Mozilla, the guys behind Firefox, have been busy planning a mobile revolution of their own. They have been hard at work on their own homegrown mobile OS. Before now, it was called the Boot to Gecko project. Did I hear you say, What?
Don’t worry, Mozilla have decided that the OS is better called Firefox OS, and I agree! Much better.
Firefox OS in Brief
Firefox OS is a new fully open mobile ecosystem based on HTML5, and will power the launch of smartphones built entirely to open Web standards, where all of the device’s capabilities can be developed as HTML5 applications.
It all sounds superb. Apps developed in HTML5, meaning that any competent web developer can create apps for the platform. Theoretically, Firefox OS should be awash with hundreds of thousands of apps in no time.
The key here is that Mozilla say that Firefox OS unlocks many of the current limitations of web development on mobile, allowing HTML5 applications to access the underlying capabilities of a phone, previously only available to native applications.
Manufacturers on Board
Mozilla have got both ZTE and Alcatel on board, and have announced that the first devices will be from these two.
We also have tip-offs from here and there that Encipher, the makers of Inye tablet, are also going to be churning out devices running Firefox OS.
A number of global operators have also given their support o Firefox OS. These include: Deutsche Telekom, Etisalat, Smart, Sprint, Telecom Italia, Telefónica and Telenor.
- first Firefox OS powered devices are expected to launch commercially in Brazil in early 2013 on the Vivo network.
- first devices will run Snapdragon processors
- Firefox OS is optimised for entry-level smartphones
I am looking forward to seeing how this plays out. Perhaps it is Firefox OS that will give us that first world smartphone for third world mobile networks that I wrote about recently.