Firefox OS is an operating system built around the same technologies used in the Firefox web browser. Mozilla introduced the software a few years ago as an alternative to Android and iOS that would be based on open source software, available for low-cost phones, easy to develop for, and easy for phone makers and wireless carriers to customize.

So far Firefox OS hasn’t been a huge hit in the smartphone space. A relatively small number of handsets have been released, and they have to compete with hundreds of cheap Android phones that are already on the market.

Now Mozilla has announced that it will no longer offer Firefox OS smartphones through carriers… although that doesn’t mean the operating system is dead.

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The organization is leaving open the door for using Firefox OS for Internet of Things products and other smart connected hardware.

Panasonic, for example, has already started using Firefox OS to power its smart TVs. Maybe one day we’ll see the software in other smart home products such as thermostats, security systems, or robotic vacuum cleaners.

Mozilla, meanwhile, continues to develop solutions for smartphones. The company’s Firefox web browser for Android offers many of the features that were baked into Firefox OS. And now there’s also a version of Firefox for iOS, although it relies on a different rendering engine than all other versions of Mozilla’s web browser.

Today Mozilla also launched a new content blocker for iOS devices called Focus by Firefox, which allows users to block certain ads, analytics, and other web scripts that track personal data.

If you want to run Firefox OS on phones, you may be able to continue doing that too… in a statement to TechCrunch, Mozilla says “able to offer the best user experience possible and so we will stop offering Firefox OS smartphones through carrier channels,” which suggests you may still be able to buy some phones that come with the software pre-loaded, and you may be able to install it on some phones yourself. But it doesn’t look like Mozilla plans to put a lot of effort into challenging Android or iOS in the commercial phone space anymore.

via TechCrunch

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14 replies on “Mozilla is giving up on Firefox OS smartphones”

  1. Good riddance, i have not used firefox in years, there are many web browsers nowadays. As for alternative OSs i would go with Tizen or Cyanogen Mod. Sailfish sounds good too. Other companies should fork Android for real, as in offer it with zero google apps. Google apps are spyware. Mozilla btw gets most of its revenue from google. The more Android forks without gapps, the better , as long as there is still compatibility with 3rd party Android apps, if the Cyanogen team can do it, other people can.

  2. Mozilla gunna bury Thunderbird too, not just delegate it to maintenance only.

    Also Mozilla’s PR’s now say they have a “Balanced” approach to your privacy, not that they will Protect it.

    FF-OS could have been a game changer. Now it’s just another wasted opportunity.

    Mozilla circles the drain…

  3. they should concentrate on making firefox as good as it was before.. firefox is now painfully slow and laggy … even worse than IE ! I can’t believe how the king of browsers(my once favourite browser) has become so bad.. I keep resetting my firefox but I very rarely use it anymore only for developement and it is a pain

  4. Will we ever have a good alternative to android or ios? Android is so diverse I feel like I could stick with it forever but the security issues worry me and I don’t like how google has the market share while apple has the profits.
    Ubuntu has hardly expanded, Microsoft’s windows 10 mobile is failing, the surface phone might save them but that might not be out until 2017 and by then it could be too late…. I don’t really like tizen….

    1. at this point we just have to hope that something happens so android sucks less. Apple is only going to continue not growing marketshare. There’s enough sub 100usd carrier unlocked phones that can’t be ignored.

      1. I love my Oneplus One. I never thought a $350 phone could replace flagship but they’re a ton of phones out there that are great for reasonable prices. There’s no need to spend money on an iPhone or Samsung when you can get the same thing for less.
        I wonder what Ces 2016 will bring… Looking forward to project Ara and the rumored Samsung “bendable” phone. I think new innovations like force touch, flexible devices, and modularity is what will set devices apart.

    2. Windows mobile is not even properly out yet and you already claim it is dead? At least a tiny bit premature? I agree it won’t drive big numbers anytime soon but it seems a good alternative if you can live with less then 1.5m apps on your phone 😉

      1. Windows phone has been out for about 5 years. It’s not gaining any traction and it isn’t likely to.
        If you’re referring specifically to windows phone 10, then yeah that’s certainly a new version of it, but almost nobody cares about it.

        1. Guess not in US and worldwide that much, maybe true. Some countries do care though like EU5 which are at ~10% market share (with ~20% only for iOS) so IMHO not too bad. Could be better but who would have though Surface sales would be higher than iPad just a year ago? One could dream a little, could one not? 😉

    3. The main problem for Android security is its popularity. Like Windows, it’s a favorite target of hackers because there’s so much of it about (multiple versions running on myriad hardware that means there’s always something to exploit).

      Even if Android was replaced by something else, given the same requirement to run on a wide variety of hardware platforms, I doubt it would be much more secure.

    4. Mozilla’s problem is it never released a product with decent enough specs while competing at the bottom of the market against much more recognizable products. I was waiting and waiting and nothing. Ubuntu also…another OS competitor with no flagship and zero market presence in the US. Microsoft is only now releasing a device with competitive specs and it wonders why no marketshare…

      1. Yeah, FFOS had the bad luck to come out when decent low-mid range Android phones were hitting their stride. With not flagship it was never really much of a option. Ubuntu is well on their way there too. They’ve barely released anything and it just feels like that have absolutely no momentum going.

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