One of the senior executives at Mozilla announced that they do not have any plans to unveil the Firefox OS Smartphone in the U.S. market. Mozilla had announced earlier this year that the Sprint phone with Mozilla support as OS would be out sometime this year, but executive chair of the Mozilla Foundation, Mitchell Baker did not seem very enthusiastic. Baker told CNET’s editor-in-chief Paul Sloan t the Open Mobile summit on Wednesday that, “Currently, there are no plans to launch in the U.S.” However she did add that the U.S. market will see developer phones in the near future. In addition, Baker told CNET that this is not an indication that Mozilla is planning to go back on what former Mozilla CEO Gary Kovacs has announced earlier, which did specify support for the U.S. market.
ZTE’s Firefox based Open smartphone had already sold out in U.S. and U.K. customers through the popular online store eBay. However, the numbers are still too insignificant to consider it a major rival or even a rival at that, in an industry that is dominated by titans like Apple and Android. Priced at $80 in the United States and £60 ($94) in the United Kingdom, the gadget hit the ZTEs eBay stores on Friday and was sold out the following Monday.
Mozilla’s decision to keep a safe distance from the U.S. markets makes sense for Mozilla, who are still pushing their Firefox OS forward in those markets. One of the key elements that make Mozilla so popular is that they have already got sufficient support from global telecom operators. The list includes América Móvil, Telecom Italia, China Unicom, Deutsche Telekom, Etisalat, KDDI, KT, MegaFon, Qtel, Hutchison Whampoa’s Three Group, TMN,SingTel, Smart, Telefónica, Telenor, and VimpelCom. With so many companies jumping to have Mozilla support, it does seem that Firefox has potential to change the industry.
The operating system developed a Mozilla headquarters relies entirely on the Web, so that HTML5 applications can be enabled with access to core device API’s. This gives developers an opportunity to create Firefox OS apps from already existent sites, simply by adding an app manifest. This is nothing but a JSON file that can describe the app which also includes information like the name, icons and a human readable description.
Mozilla support for the Firefox OS is highly reliable, and customers who have bought the phones have made no complaints. It seems we have a brand new player in the smartphone industry but it would be some time before Mozilla can hope to gain some traction in the market.