The unveiling today of Mozilla’s Firefox OS is another big step forward – for smartphones, for HTML5 and for bringing the wonders of mobility to the entire world and not just the privileged few. Working with Mozilla, we showed off the technology at Mobile World Congress earlier this year and are proud to have played a part in what we believe will be a very compelling and useful new option for customers.
By focusing on HTML5, Mozilla has created a platform for very fast yet affordable devices based on open source technology.
Firefox OS combines HTML5 with a Linux kernel, allowing every function of the mobile phone to be developed as a web app and run through a special version of the Firefox web browser. Making a call, sending a text, taking a photo would all be done by an HTML5 app.
The result is a better experience and performance, even at low end price points. And this is crucial if we’re going to get smartphones into the hands of more and more customers in the developing world. Take Brazil where current smartphone penetration is approximately 14% and only a small percentage of people have the money to buy top-end smartphones from the mega-brands. Yes there are low end Android devices for $100 but they tend to use older versions of the OS which rapidly become out of date and performance is not that great.
Firefox OS can deliver a far better experience at these price points and that’s why are so keen to bring it to markets like Brazil.
The early signs for Firefox OS are positive: strong carrier and device support. But also, the openness of the architecture bodes well for the third leg of the stool: developer support. The history of technology suggests that being open and offering great value are common ingredients of success – just look at how Mozilla drove innovation in web browsing through Firefox.
And that’s why we’re bullish on the prospects for Firefox OS.
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