Earlier this week, we saw a smartphone released in Spain with newly developed Firefox OS. It officially joined the market leaded by Android and iOS. However, we cannot exclude the other operating systems like Windows and Blackberry. Two smartphones were released with this new OS, ZTE Open and Alcatel OneTouch Fire. The main question now is – does they have what it takes?
Both of them represent the low-price class of phones with 3.5-inch displays, some basic specs and cheap look. The ZTE Open started selling by Telefonica few days ago for 69 euro. Mozilla is trying its best to bring Firefox OS on a high level fulfilled with app ecosystem. It has open Web Standards and around 8 million developers are expected to hop on board and create HTML 5 apps for Firefox-based phones.
There are no details when to expect this phone to the U.S. At this time, Mozilla is busy enough hitting emerging markets like Venezuela, Colombia, Spain, Poland and maybe Brazil. These are the main targets because the expensive smartphones like iPhone or Samsung Galaxy S- line has been proven to be too expensive.
According to Chris Lee, Firefox OS team leader, this will be the first purchased smartphone for many users. From what we can see, Mozilla plans to launch this OS in locations where people are still using basic feature phones. Someone will say that there are still some cheap Android based phones. Brendan Eich, Mozilla CTO, has said that these phones are running on old Android OS version. Eich added that they will be realistic about their plans and not aiming high crashing into Google and Apple’s fortress.
If you look at the Firefox OS interface, you will notice that is really simple and easy to use. It has similarities to the iOS with its 4 by 4 icons grid and normally there is a dock for most-used apps at the screen’s bottom. Lee reported that this is just a starting point and he and the company are hoping developers will try their best to create an entirely new custom interface for the users to love on their smartphones. This OS already features some popular apps like Facebook and Twitter and maps app which is powered by Nokia.
These first Firefox based smartphones are made to be practical, not shiny. The company hopes that the open ecosystem in a combination with low price will become a hit. We are only few days within the test period, performance grades and reviews will soon follow. However, Firefox OS has a long way ahead before becoming popular.