Firefox smartphone for the world: progress so far

By Tracey Grose

Last July, I reported on Mozilla's roll out of its Firefox HTML-based operating system for smartphones. Mozilla's innovative approach has enabled the first mobile device to be run completely on web technologies. This low-cost smartphone promises to expand global access to smart devices, make a huge contribution to the open-source movement, and create new entrepreneurial opportunities for developers around the world to meet local needs.

Six months later, what has been the impact of the Firefox OS smart phone? Now in 14 countries, the Firefox OS is running on three different devices, and there are thousands of apps on the Firefox Marketplace.

Last summer, Telefónica launched the ZTE Open powered by Firefox OS in Spain, followed by launches in Columbia and Venezuela. According to Telefónica, as reported in Venture Beat in November, Firefox OS accounts for 12 percent of their smart phone sales in Venezuela, and 9 percent in Colombia.

In addition to the ZTE Open, new devices running on Firefox OS include the Alcatel One Touch Fire and the LG Fireweb. Availability varies by market.

Since the summer, these phones have hit the market in Poland, Greece, Hungary, Serbia, Montenegro, Brazil, Mexico, Peru and Uruguay.

Developers in these places are leveraging the open platform to drive innovation and economic opportunity at the local level. Firefox OS offers developers flexible payment options and seamless portability of apps (and user information) across different operating systems. Examples of local apps on the Firefox Marketplace include the following:

  • Peru: Guia Desatres, Peru Cookbook, OLX
  • Uruguay: ibus, OLX
  • Columbia: Gol Caracol, El Tiempo
  • Venezuela: Globovision, Cinex Movil, Ultimas Noticias, Tu Descuenton, Lider en Deportes
  • Brazil: UOL, OLX, Decolar, GuiaMais, BOL, dieta e Saude, Editora Globo, Galinha Pintadinha, Kekanto, Vivo Chat
  • Mexico: Media Tiempo, Quien, El Universal, Chilango, M3
  • Poland: Tablica, Sport.pl, Pogoda and WP.pl
  • Hungary: Aprod, Mozi24

According to Jay Sullivan, COO of Mozilla, "We built Firefox OS as part of Mozilla's mission to put the power of the Web in people's hands and offer the best Web experience possible. We're happy to see Firefox OS gain momentum with partners launching new devices in new markets and developers around the world being inspired to innovate."

Mozilla's global mobile revolution is underway.

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