Firefox OS phones to debut in 2013, no US launch until 2014

A year ago, Mozilla announced its plans to enter into the already crowded smartphone operating system field. Originally called Boot to Gecko, Mozilla later renamed it Firefox OS. Today as part of its Mobile World Congress announcement, Mozilla said the first smartphones using the operating system will make their debut later this year.

Mozilla's press release said that Alcatel, LG and ZTE will all launch smartphones that will use Firefox OS – Huawei is also coming, but sometime later – and it has secured 17 wireless operators around the world to sell those phones. Deutsche Telekom will be the first out of the gate, selling the Alcatel One Touch Fire in Poland later this summer. Other countries slated to get Firefox OS smartphones this year include Brazil, Colombia, Hungary, Mexico, Montenegro, Serbia, Spain and Venezuela.

All of the Firefox smartphones will have a version of Qualcomm's Snapdragon processor as part of their hardware. In a separate press release, Mozilla offered details on the Firefox Marketplace, which will give owners of Firefox OS phones a way to download and/or purchase HTML5-based apps.

And will U.S. residents get the opportunity to buy a Firefox OS phone? Yes, but not for a while. Engadget reports that the US will have to wait until sometime in 2014 for the Firefox OS to make its debut.

Source: Mozilla | Image via Mozilla

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Kinda disappointing to see so many companies talk about their next big product and then don't release for over a year. Would like to see more do what Apple do where they announce a product and then release it two or so months later, if not sooner.
These companies produce something new which ends up being old as someone has already cloned/copied a feature into their device.

I am sure most of the people here didn't see the interview on Bloomberg this morning with the head of Italy telco who said they were VERY interested in Mozilla OS for the sub $100 market in Latin America, China and Africa which dwarfs the US and European markets both is size and potential growth. So let's not discount Mozilla just yet because we can only see how it would affect us, there is a whole other world out there.

Mozilla is trying to be clever by building an HTML5 OS,so you know,when HTML5 gets popular,their OS will run every single app known to mankind,and they will dominate the world.

Too bad they don't have enough time before that happens. If HTML5 is going to be a success,its going to be a long ass time. So far developers are not amused by it. Theyre content with developing apps for platforms.

Mozilla is also trying to piggyback on featurephones with their OS to get penetration in the market,so they can say hey look we have marketshare,but that is going to fail big time. Nobody cares if you have share in featurephone land if it doesn't translate to smartphone land.

The whole premise of this thing is stupid. HTML5 is not mature for this concept to work. Its just a waste of money.

vcfan said,
Mozilla is trying to be clever by building an HTML5 OS,so you know,when HTML5 gets popular,their OS will run every single app known to mankind,and they will dominate the world.

Too bad they don't have enough time before that happens. If HTML5 is going to be a success,its going to be a long ass time. So far developers are not amused by it. Theyre content with developing apps for platforms.

Mozilla is also trying to piggyback on featurephones with their OS to get penetration in the market,so they can say hey look we have marketshare,but that is going to fail big time. Nobody cares if you have share in featurephone land if it doesn't translate to smartphone land.

The whole premise of this thing is stupid. HTML5 is not mature for this concept to work. Its just a waste of money.


Firefox OS focusses on HTML based 'apps'. While you already have this availability in iOS, Android and WP. So they bring nothing new to the table besides Gecko.

It's nothing special! You can run Firefox OS in a simulator in your browser from here to test it out! (use firefox)
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-...addon/firefox-os-simulator/

It might be decent for low-cost cellphone models for third-world countries, but even gingerbread android phones are cheaper and can do much much more!
Regarding HTML 5. there's already webapps for iOS and android. There's also hybrid webapps using tools such as Appcelerator, Jquery Mobile, Phonegap etc.

Web apps have already been tried on iOS/android over the past 5 years and most devs have come to realize its shortcoming. Not perfect integration with operating system functions, slow responses etc. Even the big companies such as google, facebook, twitter have come to realize that native apps work best.

MS makes sense taking on Google and Apple. They have a massive ecosystem and a massive bankroll. Also, lots of experience and leverage in dealing with EMs.

What does Mozilla have, other than their browser, where's their ecosystem? How do they build an ecosystem to compete with MS, Google, and Apple, when they're basically broke in comparison?

HTML5 is great, but Google, Apple, and MS are heavily invested in HTML5 as well. So, does Mozilla just expect to more tightly integrate HTML5 web apps and local packages with their OS and expect that to sell their phone?

I believe that the foundation Mozilla is trying to capitalize on is their loyal, but dwindling, fan base. Some people will downgrade out of loyalty, but that's not a very good business model, to put it lightly.

Good luck, they're gonna need it.

Remember all those old brick phones, each manufacturer ran either a version of Symbian or their own os. I feel that this is starting to be the case with smartphones. Its becoming a fragmented market, making it tougher on developers. I understand Mozilla wants to blend apps and websites better which would be cool, but just looking at various screenshots they haven't really done anything new with the grid layout of icons. In theory with a more fragmented market we should get universal apps and accessories like car stereo support, and a universal design language, but I feel that its only going to make developers stick with iOS more

WP8 is struggling to have any impact on the Android/iOS market and BB10 just came out.... Are we to expect a FireFox OS to do any better?

Lets remember WebOS, a good OS that failed to capture the heart of users.

TruckWEB said,
WP8 is struggling to have any impact on the Android/iOS market and BB10 just came out.... Are we to expect a FireFox OS to do any better?

Lets remember WebOS, a good OS that failed to capture the heart of users.


Their "commitment" to "open source" has stagnated webdevelopment for years (whole IE6 debacle... blame Mozilla).
Also today they are doing their best to do the opposite of anything MS does. I get that they don't like MS but they keep hurting themselves and the rest of the world by their stubborn ness and refusal to cooperate.

But hey, Netscape's downfall was all thanks to MS too!

I don't know what the problem is with having more choice, I welcome it. I've always respected the Mozilla community, especially when it comes to their commitment to open source.

Well to me it just seems like a waste of time for everyone to re-invent the wheel over and over. Smartphones are pretty much just mini computers now. Imagine if when it came to operating systems there were 50 different choices, each with their own proprietary file formats. Compatibility probably would become a huge annoyance for consumers.

But then again, its just a phone, so maybe not... oh well, we'll see soon enough if its a hit or a miss.

Honestly if this doesn't get any real support in the EU or where ever they try to release it first then I don't see it making it to the US at all.

GP007 said,
Honestly if this doesn't get any real support in the EU or where ever they try to release it first then I don't see it making it to the US at all.

I totally agree: the US is an artificially controlled market. Launch a new product in a market where consumers decide what they want, if it was a success these carriers/racket will beg you to have it.

Fritzly said,

I totally agree: the US is an artificially controlled market. Launch a new product in a market where consumers decide what they want, if it was a success these carriers/racket will beg you to have it.

Uhm, consumers don't decide in Europe either. The carriers still do. Although the carriers here usually support most phones and don't often use those branded special ones with features locked down or not available (YES YOU VERIZON)

Shadowzz said,

Uhm, consumers don't decide in Europe either. The carriers still do. Although the carriers here usually support most phones and don't often use those branded special ones with features locked down or not available (YES YOU VERIZON)

Not at all. I can buy any phone I want in an electronic store then walking in a carrier store and buy a contract or a rechargeable SIM. Try to buy a SIM free phone in a store in US.
Plus in many UE Countries is unlawful to lock devices to a specific carrier; you go in a carrier store, buy a phone and use whatever provider you want.

ingramator said,
This is DOA... I mean 2014?

Why not? This is not a Cbrono race; it was not late for MS as well. The only issue is what will be offered.

Fritzly said,

Why not? This is not a Cbrono race; it was not late for MS as well. The only issue is what will be offered.


Microsoft was late to the game and have done allot to even have some impact on the market.
Mozilla does not have the marketing budget MS has for WP.
Wouldn't surprise me of the WP marketing budget far exceeds Mozilla's entire budget

Shadowzz said,

Microsoft was late to the game and have done allot to even have some impact on the market.
Mozilla does not have the marketing budget MS has for WP.
Wouldn't surprise me of the WP marketing budget far exceeds Mozilla's entire budget

But at the end of the day it is what the product you are trying to sell that makes the difference.

Is this needed? No. Sure, choice is good, but more operating systems to support makes things harder for developers. Google, Apple, and Microsoft is adequate choice and competition for mobile devices.

Mozilla's approach is to attempt to remove the gap between websites and apps. If this could be achieved it would lead to less work for developers in the same way that web developers don't have to work hard to support multiple OSes.

So, it is needed unless we want to end up in a future where only one platform rules again a lot like Windows does on the Desktop.

LogicalApex said,
Mozilla's approach is to attempt to remove the gap between websites and apps. If this could be achieved it would lead to less work for developers in the same way that web developers don't have to work hard to support multiple OSes.

So, it is needed unless we want to end up in a future where only one platform rules again a lot like Windows does on the Desktop.


HTML5 may be able to do a lot of advanced things, but it has its limits. I think Facebook learned this with their Android app. If HTML5 is really the intended language for Firefox OS apps, it will probably flop pretty quickly.

Far too early to tell. We have yet to see what Mozilla has done to attempt to address these issues.

But hey, every attempt to push the envelope is met with its detractors.

Google, Apple, Blackberry, and Microsoft are good enough.

WebOS and Meego should have had a chance as well if Palm and Nokia hadn't killed them by incompetence.

matt4pack said,
Google, Apple, Blackberry, and Microsoft are good enough.

WebOS and Meego should have had a chance as well if Palm and Nokia hadn't killed them by incompetence.

I thought webOS had a good chance in the market and it not only had models out from palm but even HP did some upgrades and one or two new phones as well iirc. That OS and this from Firefox are the same, I don't see how one will work when the other didn't. WebOS was all about html coding and so on but it just never got going it seems.

Chugworth said,

HTML5 may be able to do a lot of advanced things, but it has its limits. I think Facebook learned this with their Android app. If HTML5 is really the intended language for Firefox OS apps, it will probably flop pretty quickly.

It wasn't really because of HTML5 although this was widely reported, but probably a combo of Javascript performance restrictions due to being embedded in a standalone app, and a poorly performing Facebook backend.

If it _was_ about HTML5, it wouldn't have ran much faster on m.facebook.com in the web browser on the very same device.

Oh yeah, these are just impressions from watching videos/reading about it. 2014 is a bit of a late release, given what can happen during MWC, and Google IO, etc. So, Firefox OS has a bit of a challenge.

I just don't see ANY smartphone/tablet OS becoming competitive to the iOS/Android dominance of this market. Frankly, there is just no need for any other mobile OS platform at this time. Sure, choice and variety is good, but do we really need iOS/Android AND BlackBerry/Windows Phone/Ubuntu/FireFox/Symbian/Palm/etc/etc ?

When 95% of smartphones and tablets out there are running either iOS or Android, app developers would have to be insane to waste time and resources developing for any other platforms ... but perhaps not as insane as the companies putting resources into developing their own competing mobile platforms. I just don't know what goes on in these peoples' heads.

sabrex said,
I just don't see ANY smartphone/tablet OS becoming competitive to the iOS/Android dominance of this market. Frankly, there is just no need for any other mobile OS platform at this time. Sure, choice and variety is good, but do we really need iOS/Android AND BlackBerry/Windows Phone/Ubuntu/FireFox/Symbian/Palm/etc/etc ?

When 95% of smartphones and tablets out there are running either iOS or Android, app developers would have to be insane to waste time and resources developing for any other platforms ... but perhaps not as insane as the companies putting resources into developing their own competing mobile platforms. I just don't know what goes on in these peoples' heads.

95%... Nokia alone still holds 20ish% of the smartphone market.
No android or ios to be found on those devices.

Shadowzz said,
95%... Nokia alone still holds 20ish% of the smartphone market.
No android or ios to be found on those devices.

Not with WP only though and Symbian is dead.....

sabrex said,
...but do we really need iOS/Android AND BlackBerry/Windows Phone/Ubuntu/FireFox/Symbian/Palm/etc/etc ?

Sure, why do we need 50+ car manufacturers, isn't Volkswagen and Toyota enough?

Fritzly said,

Not with WP only though and Symbian is dead.....

If Nokia manages to sell people Symbian products... How hard is it when Nokia starts replacing these Symbian phones with the much better WP7.8 devices.

Erikas said,

Sure, why do we need 50+ car manufacturers, isn't Volkswagen and Toyota enough?

Always the car comparisons. Not really a comparison as they use no universal standard for applications on their 'devices'. Also cars have allot of different markets (more then dumbphone/featurephone/smartphone) and BMW doesn't need to sell millions of each car to make a profit.

Shadowzz said,

If Nokia manages to sell people Symbian products... How hard is it when Nokia starts replacing these Symbian phones with the much better WP7.8 devices.

A dead OS for another dead OS? Not appealing, at least not for me.

Shadowzz said,
95%... Nokia alone still holds 20ish% of the smartphone market.
No android or ios to be found on those devices.

Nokia held 19.1% of the worldwide mobile phone sales (not smartphone) in 2012 (18.0 percent in 4Q12). Even if we assume all Symbian and Windows Phone smartphones sold were from Nokia, they could only have 4.2% of the smartphone market in 4Q12. Source: http://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/2335616