Mozilla has “no plans to launch” Firefox OS phones in the U.S.

Our first encounter with Firefox OS was back at the Mobile World Congress in February, at which the company’s then-CEO, Gary Kovacs, said that it intended to launch handsets featuring the mobile operating system in the U.S. on Sprint in 2014. Since then, however, it seems that Mozilla’s plans have changed.

CNET reports that Mozilla executive chairperson, Mitchell Baker, revealed this week that “currently, there are no plans to launch in the U.S.” She did add, however, that Firefox OS developer handsets would be sold in the United States; the ZTE Open – the launch device for the OS – is already sold on eBay, and is available to American buyers for just under $80.

Baker later told CNET that Mozilla’s plans regarding a U.S. launch apparently remained unchanged from what Kovacs had outlined at MWC, although that seems slightly at odds with her own statement. Andreas Gal, Mozilla's vice president of mobile, said that the company is “actively exploring” partnerships with carriers and manufacturers for the U.S. market.

Baker also emphasised that Mozilla’s approach in developing Firefox OS focuses heavily on handset cost, which will make devices more appealing in price-sensitive emerging markets: “How many cents you can shave off the bottom of the phone is the driving factor,” she explained.

She also underlined the web-focused philosophy behind Firefox OS, particularly as the world moves towards the ‘internet of things’ – a term used to describe interconnectivity of objects that have so far existed in a non-connected state, such as a shelf or a carton of milk. Connecting these objects may revolutionise simple everyday tasks, such as stock-keeping in businesses, or shopping for groceries. But this will also generate huge amounts of information to be shared and stored, fuelling the growth of 'big data'. 

Baker believes that these developments will require a shift beyond the conventions of mobile devices that we know today. Mobile, she asserts, currently "means a particular operating system, an app model, it means essentially Apple and Google. But if you think of [smartphones] as computers, you get a sense of their potential... We want an experience that’s seamlessly interoperable with the data."

Source: CNET


Want to know more? Be sure to read our reviews:
> Mozilla Firefox OS 
> ZTE Open with Firefox OS 
 

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19 Comments

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Especially since FireFox frequently crashes on Windows-7 64-bit systems. Regrettably, at next rebuild time, I'll have to downgrade to Windows-7 32-bit to eliminate the crashing. Pity.

TsarNikky said,
Especially since FireFox frequently crashes on Windows-7 64-bit systems. Regrettably, at next rebuild time, I'll have to downgrade to Windows-7 32-bit to eliminate the crashing. Pity.

WAT. seriously WAT. Crash rate on Firefox is way lower than Chrome's, if there's an issue on your system it's because you have a defective component (usually defective RAM).
And for the record, there's no official 64-bit build of Firefox, so unless you are using some user-generated build (like Waterfox) your Firefox will be the same in Win32 than it is in Win64.

I use Firefox and Chrome extensively on my Linux computer, they both have tons of extensions installed, and I don't once remember Firefox crashing. Yes it uses tons of ram, and yes it gets a little slow once in a while (especially when you cross the 100+ tabs mark), but it has never crashed.

I have seen a dead tab in Chrome a few times, but it also has never once completely crashed.

So perhaps, the problem isn't the browser, but the underlying operating system, which I am assuming in your case is Windows?

Good....phone & software manufacturers want to release untested stuff? Do it in China, Japan, Korea...I want STABLE, not bleeding edge that doesn't work or have value to my daily life.

That's the attitude that's killed so many other great ideas. Well done. Could just be they know it will take time to reach certain milestones and waiting before hitting the U.S. market before your ready can cause long term problems...sound familiar?

Whether it was the intended market or not, I'm glad they decided NOT to do it here!

Enough stupid phones/OS's floating around already!

We have choice, we just don't need a crappy choice, now if this had any potential for being good it would be different, but even Mozilla aren't confident enough that it will be good enough to be used here, that should say a lot about the OS

z0phi3l said,
We have choice, we just don't need a crappy choice, now if this had any potential for being good it would be different, but even Mozilla aren't confident enough that it will be good enough to be used here, that should say a lot about the OS

US is not their target market because they are making an OS for entry level phones, and that's not where the bulk of sales is in the US.

I suppose they could simply put their OS into a Quad Snapdragon 800 and call it a day, but that would be derailing from their current goals and probably wouldn't yield any significant revenue by itself. The high-end market is a race to who gets the most number of devices and gimmicks in the less time, and I'm quite sure this is not a game that Mozilla wants to play.

Maybe a little off-topic but what I don't get is - when Mozilla can release a phone with ZTE with their own OS how come Ubuntu devs needed 32m to release their own phone? I get it, it was ultra-high end and all but couldn't they just start with a lower production level? I mean c'mon, even Mozilla could got a deal with ZTE.

Its better that Mozilla takes some time to get the ecosystem right as the review I read in Neowin is not at all promising or performance seems to be not at all at per with android or smoothness of windows phone.

so better mozilla guys takes some time and give us option to port the os in existing android devices