Firefox OS Isnt Starting From a Strong Position

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2012-07-02 Print this article Print

5. Emerging markets

Mozilla has said that it will ship its first smartphones in Brazil and then extend its release to a host of other countries, including the U.S. However, it appears that Mozilla is targeting emerging markets with its operating system, but every other company delivering mobile products today is doing so as well. What€™s so unique about Firefox OS that people in those markets will want to use a new and unfamiliar mobile platform? 

6. It€™s following the losers

Let€™s face it: Numerous companies have tried entering the mobile market to compete against iOS and Android and failed. Take, for example, webOS, an operating system that isn€™t so dissimilar to Firefox OS and has now all but faded from the market. Even RIM€™s BlackBerry OS is on death watch. Firefox OS needs something hugely impressive to be successful. And it doesn€™t appear to have it. 

7. There€™s a Symbian battle brewing (and that€™s not good)

As noted, Firefox OS is gunning for both emerging markets and the lower end of the industry. There€™s just one issue: Symbian, an operating system that has been catering to those markets for years, is ready for a battle. Don€™t forget: Nokia might have turned its back on Symbian for higher-end smartphones, but it€™s still offering the OS in much of the rest of the mobile market. And although it has become synonymous with Nokia, Symbian is not tied to that company€™s ultimate fate. Symbian still has a future, and it€™s important to not forget that. 

8. Drastic changes aren€™t necessarily better

There€™s no debating that Firefox OS is a major step up over what is currently available across the mobile marketplace. But drastic changes aren€™t necessarily better. In fact, they can sometimes fail miserably in the wake of stronger, more established competitors. Unless a miracle happens, that could very well be the Firefox OS fate. 

9. Mozilla: on the downturn?

Another issue that might go overlooked by stakeholders is the fact that Mozilla itself is on somewhat of a downturn. The company€™s Firefox browser was once tapped to be the successor to Internet Explorer, but it€™s now losing ground to Chrome. Mozilla doesn€™t get the kind of attention it once did€”and that could hurt Firefox OS. 

10. Is there a tablet strategy?

So far, Mozilla has really only focused its effort on smartphones. But in the mobile world, success in the smartphone space is far more attainable with an associated tablet strategy. Granted, Android devices and iPhones didn€™t require tablets, but in the post-iPad world, everything has changed. Mozilla must remember that. 

Follow Don Reisinger on Twitter by clicking here

Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at

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