Firefox OS may grab 1% share of smartphone shipments next year

Telecom Lead India: Firefox OS will grab 1 percent share of global smartphone shipments in 2013.

Firefox OS will target entry-level smartphone users, a segment currently dominated by Google Android.

The new platform from Mozilla is set to give stiff competition to the incumbents such as Google, Apple and Nokia.

Firefox OS is an emerging operating system for smartphones being developed by Mozilla. The platform is designed to be open-source, licensable, and relatively low-cost. Firefox OS supports HTML5 apps and it is gaining interest from several hardware vendors and operators, such as ZTE and Telefonica.

“We expect the first Firefox smartphones to launch commercially in Latin America or Western Europe in the first half of next year. We forecast Firefox OS to capture a niche 1 percent share of global smartphone shipments in 2013,” said Scott Bicheno, senior analyst at Strategy Analytics.

Firefox OS will initially target entry-level smartphone users, which is a segment currently dominated by the Android platform in almost all regions worldwide. Overcoming Android will not be an easy task.

To succeed, Firefox OS will need to address at least three main challenges; they are low brand awareness among smartphone consumers worldwide, a limited retail presence in the influential United States market, and a relatively modest ecosystem of supporting apps and services.

Meanwhile, Mozilla, developer of Firefox internet browser, is ready to unveil a new fully open mobile ecosystem based on HTML5. As the battle in the mobile industry stiffens, service providers and device manufacturers have lend their support for the new initiative taken by Mozilla.

Leading telecom companies such as Deutsche Telekom, Etisalat, Smart, Sprint, Telecom Italia, Telefonica and Telenor support a new Firefox smartphone platform. With this new platform, these operators reckon the potential of the technology to deliver compelling smartphone experiences at attainable prices.

[email protected]