IoT Strategies

Mozilla Abandons Smartphones, Turns to IoT

Despite support from the telco sector, open source software community Mozilla has failed to make an impact on the smartphone OS sector with its Firefox open mobile browser technology and has decided instead to focus its Firefox efforts on the IoT sector.

Mozilla's aim was to develop affordable, open source-based mobile devices that could help spread Internet connectivity in developing markets and it gained support from a number of telcos, particularly Telefónica , and handset manufacturers when it unveiled its mission in 2012.

But its impact has been minimal: Android has retained a firm grip on the mobile device OS market, with an 82.8% market share in the second quarter of 2015, followed by Apple's IoS on 13.9%, according to IDC.

IDC: Smartphone OS Market Share 2015, 2014, 2013, and 2012 Chart

So Mozilla has decided that it will turn its attention instead to an even bigger revolution than the emergence of smartphones -- IoT. In a blog posted on the Mozilla website, Ari Jaaksi, senior vice president of connected devices, said that it would work on IoT prototypes using "technologies developed as part of the Firefox OS project to give us a kick start."

For more on Mozilla's Firefox rollercoaster, see:

— Ray Le Maistre, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profile, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

[email protected] 12/14/2015 | 6:57:51 AM
IoT... already crowded too... So Mozilla is shifting the focus of its Firefox R&D from smartphones to IoT. 

The competitive heat was too much in the smartphone OS market -- is it going to be any different in IoT?

DanJones 12/14/2015 | 9:24:02 AM
Re: IoT... already crowded too... Well there isn't anything like a dominant OS in the IoT space yet, so maybe there's a chance...
Mitch Wagner 12/14/2015 | 4:46:23 PM
Re: IoT... already crowded too... Indeed. The Firefox phone joined the market when the iPhone and Android were entrenched. It's still early days for IoT. 

Anecdotally, I know a few people who tried Firefox phones and were not impressed. That counts. 
DanJones 12/14/2015 | 5:22:24 PM
Re: IoT... already crowded too... The difficultly with doing IoT is that one size fits all is no where close to what's required. You might need a fairly well featured browser-based OS for home appliances (my guess of where they're trying to go) down to a dumb, low-power OS for a a sensor (wakes up to broadcast data every so often).
mendyk 12/14/2015 | 7:11:42 PM
Re: IoT... already crowded too... Correct. IoT is not a "sector." It's a huge, amorphous blob of opportunity. And just about everybody wants a piece of that blob.
MordyK 12/19/2015 | 11:06:29 AM
Re: IoT... already crowded too... Aside for the internet of things definition issue, I don't see FireFox as a company with the historical DNA to bring an OS product to a sustained market share, and too date neither have their chosen partners - i.e. carriers - been able to do so.

The definition of the Internet of things is actually retty simple:

1. Schema: Google's project Weave is a good starting point.

2. Hub: the controlling device with a a full OS which acts as a hub.

3. Host: A device with an "as-needed" OS that has a minimal compiled footprint with one the required elements for said service. This device only has the relevant schema's.

4. Client: client or slave devices which are cheap and have the minimum OS to do the stored functions, while it interacts with the host/hub for deeper control and interactivity.

The connectivity wil also reflect these requiremets. For example in a home environment BT will suite clients, while hosts and hubs have a mix of WiFi and BT, and the hub will have connectivity to the WAN via wired or wireless. 
kq4ym 12/29/2015 | 5:20:04 PM
Re: IoT... already crowded too... Going up against Google and Apple was certainly a big gamble depending on mass acceptance by some big manufactuer groups. Whether they will have a more fair competitive advantage in the IoT market may also be debatable. But, it's worth a try to get an open source solution into the coming products.
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