Light Reading

Firefox: Smartphones for All?

Dan Jones
2/26/2013
50%
50%

The Firefox mobile OS is burning up the show here in Barcelona.

The Mozilla booth has been thronged with curious attendees all day. Carriers such as Telefonica are palpably excited about having another real open-source alternative to Android. Hell, the very orange Firefox knit hat -- with ears! -- might even be the chic geek accessory to have in chilly Barcelona. [Ed note: Maybe for those without a fashion sense to spare.]

The reasons why are easy to see: Carriers love free open-source operating systems because it helps to drive down the cost of the smartphone. This is particularly important as they look to sell cheap smartphones -- think $100 or less -- and seriously cheap data plans in countries where $200-plus devices just aren't an option.

In addition, some operators outside the U.S. aren't so keen on Google's Android strategy because Google stores emails that can be accessed on the Android phones on U.S.-based servers, which can cause regulatory issues. This has opened the door for an alternative such as Firefox.

The pure Web and HTML5-based nature of Firefox will also make it attractive to developers looking for the next cash cow after iOS.

Certainly, Firefox phones don't have to be an iPhone killer (or whatever bogus terminology is now in use) to succeed. They just have to work well enough, proliferate like Android and give many people a cheap and reliable way to get on the Web.

I can certainly think of some problems ahead. A smartphone that is someone's main connection to the world in many countries needs a good, reliable mobile payments and banking infrastructure.

From my limited research so far, I'm seeing some interesting apps but not everything I would think needed yet. I'm sure Mozilla and its supporters will move to address that.

Still, Firefox seems like the most interesting new contender we've seen in the mobile OS field for a while.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

(3)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
DanJones
50%
50%
DanJones,
User Rank: Blogger
3/1/2013 | 2:20:44 PM
re: Firefox: Smartphones for All?
Yeah, the carriers will come for the free, they might stay for the extra control.
lrmobile_jepovic
50%
50%
lrmobile_jepovic,
User Rank: Light Beer
2/27/2013 | 11:58:52 AM
re: Firefox: Smartphones for All?
Very interesting! This is not mainly about getting a free OS for very cheap phones - that would be an underestimate of the strategic significance. There are many strong players, both carriers and terminal vendors, who would love to squeeze out Android and Google and get ore control themselves. It opens up business opportunities for carriers or their local partners in payments, music, games, you name it.
It gets really interesting if one considers the longterm (which could be only 2 years away) consequences for the industries like tablets, online marketing, email and even search engines.
Android has demonstrated just how easy it could be to introduce a new mobile OS. The consumers just don't seem to care very much about the OS.
DanJones
50%
50%
DanJones,
User Rank: Blogger
2/27/2013 | 10:05:25 AM
re: Firefox: Smartphones for All?
The interesting technical question about Firefox is how will it affect signaling loads on the networks. An always-connected OS would seem to be likely to flood the signaling channels of 3G networks if it gets really popular.

I've got a video on this topic coming soon and I'm asking around here at the show. Anyone knows more, let me know.
More Blogs from Jonestown
One from our WTF department! Marshall -- the amp maker -- intros an Android smartphone.
Consumers have no way of knowing if the aftermarket Sprint phone they're buying will work on the operator's network -- and that's burning Sprint's MVNOs.
Verizon's AOL buy is its latest push in an ongoing strategy to deliver more mobile video to its customers.
Cisco CEO predicts the digitization of everything will change, like, everything!
The connected car is driving the IoT market now, but that's just the start of it.
Flash Poll
From The Founder
Anshul Sadana answers questions from Steve Saunders, Light Reading's founder and CEO, about Arista's CloudVision, a global cloud network controller for workload orchestration and workflow automation delivering a turnkey solution for cloud networking.
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
Between the CEOs
Video Exclusive With Basil Alwan, Alcatel-Lucent

7|24|15   |   26:44   |   (2) comments


Basil Alwan, President of IP Routing & Transport at Alcatel-Lucent, discusses virtualization, cultural challenges, the capex crunch and more with Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders.
LRTV Custom TV
VDF: Enable the Financial With Mobile Money

7|20|15   |   06:53   |   (0) comments


Ian Ravenscroft discusses how operators can expand to occupy the entire digital services value chain through service innovation.
LRTV Custom TV
Telefónica on OSS Transformation

7|20|15   |   06:01   |   (0) comments


Jose Gonzales discusses the details of Telefónica's operation transformation program.
LRTV Custom TV
Judi Achmadi on Huawei's Cloud Storage Solution

7|20|15   |   03:33   |   (0) comments


Judi discusses the key business goals of TelekomSigma's public cloud service and how Huawei's solution helps them address challenges.
LRTV Custom TV
KPN Enlightening Digital Business & IT Transformation

7|20|15   |   06:19   |   (0) comments


Rob de Beer discusses the changes that operators need to make with service innovation now coming from the Internet world.
LRTV Custom TV
Stratus Telco-Grade Cloud Solutions & NFV

7|20|15   |   07:34   |   (0) comments


Ali Kafel from Stratus Technologies addresses high-availability concerns within the telco industry with a solution that enables telcos to provide high-availability and stateful fault-tolerance using a software-based approach.
LRTV Documentaries
The Six Million Dollar Business Man

7|20|15   |   01:52   |   (0) comments


Steve Saunders, publisher. A man barely alive after an acquisition malfunction imploded the company he founded. Gentlemen, we can rebuild Light Reading. Better, faster, stronger.
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Anukool Lakhina, Guavus

7|20|15   |   38:51   |   (1) comment


Guavus CEO Anukool Lakhina talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the role of operational analytics in the communications services and networking sectors, particularly in relation to IoT.
LRTV Custom TV
IBM's Flash Storage With Intel QuickAssist

7|20|15   |   03:18   |   (0) comments


Intel's Bev Crair and IBM's Eric Herzog discuss how IBM's V9000 Flash Storage System has helped customers around the world. Featuring real-time compression powered by Intel QuickAssist Technology, the V9000 is a next-gen flash storage solution.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Thailand's AIS: Transforming to an FMC Operator

7|17|15   |   4:53   |   (0) comments


Saran Phaloprakarn, Senior VP of Fixed Broadband Business Management of Thailand's AIS, was a keynote speaker at the first Asia-Pacific Ultra Broadband Summit in Bangkok. In this video, he talks to Heavy Reading about transforming into an FMC (FBB+MBB+Content) operator.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Cambodia's TRC Discusses Its Plans for National Broadband

7|17|15   |   10:33   |   (0) comments


In this video, Chakyra Moa, Chairman of Telecommunication Regulator of Cambodia (TRC), talks in in-depth with Heavy Reading about the Cambodia's current telecom market and TRC's goals and expectations for the future.
LRTV Documentaries
5G Phone

7|16|15   |   2:09   |   (4) comments


A man has an opportunity to purchase the world's first working 5G phone. Imagine the possibilities...
Upcoming Live Events
September 16-17, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 16, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 16, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
October 14-15, 2015, New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, LA
November 5, 2015, Hilton Santa Clara, Santa Clara, CA
December 1, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Network operators start seeing savings from NFV in the first year, according to a study by Affirmed Networks and ACG.
Hot Topics
T-Mobile Launches RCS Messaging
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 7/22/2015
Verizon Trumpets Network Densification Plans
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 7/21/2015
Huawei Working Hard for Rural Success
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 7/22/2015
AT&T U-verse TV Hits the Skids
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 7/24/2015
Eurobites: Alcatel-Lucent, Vodafone Test TWDM-PON
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 7/22/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Basil Alwan, President of IP Routing & Transport at Alcatel-Lucent, discusses virtualization, cultural challenges, the capex crunch and more with Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders.
Guavus CEO Anukool Lakhina talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the role of operational analytics in the communications services and networking sectors, particularly in relation to IoT.
Cats with Phones
Cat Sense Click Here
Can you hear me now?