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Mozilla calls time on Firefox OS smartphone platform

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Non-profit web company Mozilla has announced it will stop developing and selling smartphones running its Firefox OS platform.

The announcement was made at a Mozilla developer event and reported by TechCrunch. Telecoms.com received the following statement from Denelle Dixon-Thayer, Chief Legal and Business Officer at Mozilla:

“We are proud of the benefits Firefox OS added to the Web platform and will continue to experiment with the user experience across connected devices. We will build everything we do as a genuine open source project, focused on user experience first and build tools to enable the ecosystem to grow.

“Firefox OS proved the flexibility of the Web, scaling from low-end smartphones all the way up to HD TVs. However, we weren’t able to offer the best user experience possible and so we will stop offering Firefox OS smartphones through carrier channels. We’ll share more on our work and new experiments across connected devices soon.”

Firefox OS was originally designed to be a resource-light OS, drawing a lot of its capabilities directly from the cloud. The theory was that this would enable a good user experience on low-specced phones because cheaper components could be used than usual. It was thought that this model would be especially appropriate for developing markets as it would lower the bar for entry into the smartphone world.

On top of the user experience challenges alluded to in the Mozilla statement, the other big problem was that the price of entry-level Android smartphones has kept falling, thus eradicating the main USP for Firefox OS. Just as Microsoft, BlackBerry, Samsung and Jolla have found, the smartphone market has evolved into a duopoly, with Apple owning the top end, which is very hard to crack.


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