Firefox OS Isn't Mobile Market Game-Changer: 10 Reasons Why

NEWS ANALYSIS: Mozilla is getting into the mobile market with its Firefox OS aiming for the lower end of the mobile market. But it's jumping late into a market that it can't succeed in.

Mozilla on July 2 announced that it€™s moving full steam ahead into the mobile market with a new smartphone operating system called, Firefox OS. The platform is designed to be Web-based, and will, Mozilla hopes, carve out a niche in the lower end of the market where Google€™s Android and Apple€™s iOS have so far not been so successful. By doing so, Mozilla thinks that its open-source platform could be a game-changer.

But the fact is, Firefox OS is not a game-changer in the least. The operating system has some interesting concepts, but it€™s entering a market that it can€™t possibly be successful in. With smartphones on the way that won€™t impress anyone, how can the operating system really do something so special? It€™s not always smart to bet against Mozilla and its high quality products, but in this case, don€™t put your money on Mozilla.

Read on to find out why Firefox OS isn€™t the game-changer that Mozilla and its supporters say it is.

1. There€™s already Android

Developing an open-source operating system is by no means special any longer. Android is already dominating that space and has given no indication that there€™s a possibility for another platform to succeed it. Until Mozilla can prove that its operating system is a fine replacement for Android, there€™s no way Firefox OS can succeed.

2. It€™s gunning for the lower end of the market

There€™s nothing wrong with going for the lower end of the market with Firefox OS, but it€™s important to keep in mind that that€™s not necessarily a very profitable space. Moreover, Android continues to make inroads into there, thanks to the low-cost (and sometimes, free) smartphones running on the platform that mobile phone carriers offer customers to get them to sign service contracts. The low end of the market won€™t be so nice to Mozilla.

3. Firefox browser as the OS core won€™t work

A key component in Firefox OS is its heavy reliance upon the Firefox browser. Mozilla believes that by making the browser the core of the operating system, it can deliver a more Web-friendly experience and create a scenario in which customers don€™t want traditional software. It€™s a neat concept, but even the Firefox browser isn€™t so popular that it makes all that much sense for customers.

4. Is the Firefox OS too €œtechy€ for consumers?

After Android launched, the term €œopen source€ became very recognizable to today€™s consumers. They understood what the term meant and they now embrace it. However, open source in and of itself is an easier concept to understand than what Mozilla is putting forth. Yes, the operating system is open source, but it€™s based on the browser and is reliant upon HTML5. Mozilla€™s greatest challenge might just be educating the public on what that all means for them.

Don Reisinger

Don Reisinger

Don Reisinger is a longtime freelance contributor to several technology and business publications. Over his career, Don has written about everything from geek-friendly gadgetry to issues of privacy...