Mozilla backtracking on $25 Firefox OS smartphone, exploring Android apps support

The ZTE Open running Firefox OS. Notice the rounded app icons. PHOTO: CNET UK

Remember last year during Mobile World Congress when Mozilla announced a cheap $25 smartphone powered by Firefox OS? We all got excited about it but so far we’ve heard nothing from either Mozilla regarding that or its various partners. Instead we’ve seen those partners like French carrier Orange concentrate on launching the $40 Alcatel One Touch manufactured Klif smartphone in the African market. Thanks to no demand for the insanely cheap phones due to what they offer vis-a-vis what others in the market offer, Mozilla is no longer keen on pushing the $25 smartphones.

…for Firefox OS to win converts, it needs to offer compelling advantages to users (i.e. the right combination of product features, desired apps, pricing, etc.) that will drive people to seek out our products, especially in the face of sophisticated competition from the most aggressive and largest technology companies in the world.

We will build phones and connected devices that people want to buy because of the experience, not simply the price.

According to Mozilla CEO Chris Beard, the non-profit organization is shifting its focus to more capable smartphones that will appeal to users based on the overall experience they provide and not just the low price point. To that end, Mozilla is counting on Ignite, a new initiative that will provide extensive resources to the developer community so as to build products that are in sync with the Mozilla vision for the open web. So is Firefox OS dead? No. The Ignite Initiative will simply eeeer, ignite, the spark as Mozilla looks to the future of the nascent mobile operating system even as it looks to be in sync with the times and accommodate other emerging trends like the Internet of Things. To accelerate adoption of Firefox OS, it is also exploring adding support for Android applications.

Source: CNET