(Salvador Pérez is Manager, Strategy and Foresight Communication, Telefonica I&D)
HTML5 is widely expected to be the future of the multimedia internet. However, what’s less well known is its potential impact on the mobile sector through being embedded into handsets and via the HTML5-based Mozilla Firefox OS.
So here are 5 things you need to know about HTML5 and mobility…
It’s fast and priced for value. Firefox OS has already been demonstrated as way for phones to run web applications and services as close to the metal as you can get, accessing phone hardware functions like a native app. That means Firefox OS is fast, because services are not dealing with the bloated middleware that usually gets in the way of performance, but also it’s able to run on modest hardware configurations.
It’s portable. Firefox OS is Linux-based and can run on even basic hardware specs. It has even been shown running on the hugely popular ultra-low-cost Raspberry Pi computer, thanks to a port by Nokia engineer Oleg Romashin.
It’s going to bring smartphone capabilities to the wider world. Today, advanced smartphone capabilities are usually limited to wealthy regions that can afford $400-class advanced hardware. HTML5 and Firefox OS will appeal to regions such as Latin America as a way to market fast smartphones at the price of standard cellphones, but they will also have a role in other countries among value-conscious buyers.
It’s going to be endorsed by developers. HTML5 is already growing in popularity among the coding community because it will let them build open web apps that can run on a vast number of devices. Strategy Analytics expects HTML5-enabled smartphones to sell over one billion units in 2013.
It’s going to be popular with operators too. HTML5 will let operators quickly tie in features like NFC for cashless payments and offer an alternative to the powerful established operating systems.
It’s all going to happen very soon. The first handsets are scheduled for availability in Brazil in early 2013 and after that we expect to see availability to more regions, including Europe. Watch this space…