back to article Mozilla: We don't give a damn about cheap smartphones

Browser-turned-OS-institution Mozilla has acknowledged that its $25 phone has failed. Firefox OS was launched with a strategy of not being Google or Apple, into the warm bosom of Telefonica and seventeen other operators at Mobile World Congress in 2013. At the time, we predicted that it would go the way of Symbian, SavaJe and …

  1. John 104


    Mobile, that's it, Mobile!

    How do people like this stay employed?

  2. 0laf Silver badge

    If MS struggles to get apps with 3% market share how much harder is it going to be when you've got just more than 0%.

    MS can at least tap a business market with AD integration.

    1. Captain DaFt

      "If MS struggles to get apps with 3% market share how much harder is it going to be when you've got just more than 0%."

      Simples. Offer something nobody else does, like a massive battery, multiple sim cards, and rugged build:

    2. auburnman

      Couldn't they develop the tools to allow the Mozillaphone to run Android apps? Roll their own or licence what BlackBerry came up with (I'm sure BB would love the cash.)

  3. msknight

    I wouldn't mind...

    ...being part of Ignite testing. I, for one, would love something non-Android and non-IOS but Sailfish has gone the wrong way and Ubuntu phone ... well ... that didn't even last 24 hours.

    Shame us mere non-foxy mortals won't be a part of testing/feedback ... you know ... those of us who live everyday, non-Firefoxian lives.

    1. tony72

      Re: I wouldn't mind...

      Wait. So you want something non-iOS and non-Android and non-Sailfish. You didn't mention Windows Phone, Blackberry or Tizen, but presumably you're aware of them, so I'm guessing you've rejected those as well. Have you considered that maybe you just don't like smartphones full stop?

      1. asdf

        I call BS.

        No mortal could have ever seen all those obscure phone OSs in person let alone owned them and truly tried them out.

      2. msknight

        Re: I wouldn't mind...

        Colleagues have Windows phones (you know how it is in the tech office, everyone plays with each others toys ... er....) and corporate have Blackberry (which is being ..ahem ... decommissioned) so I've got enough experience of them to not want them, without having owned them personally. Tizen will be on the shopping list in the near future.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I wouldn't mind...

          >> corporate have Blackberry (which is being ..ahem ... decommissioned)

          Just checking - BB10 or legacy devices? World of difference between them.

        2. asdf

          Re: I wouldn't mind...

          Was more implying all those listed. WP and BB aren't that hard to get a hold of even now if determined. Tizen you do admit is still vaporware and those others listed before unless you work in the cell phone industry forget about ever seeing as often they were two week on one offs in a third world country used only as leverage in negotiations.

          1. msknight

            Re: I wouldn't mind...

            Legacy in the corp; throwing out the servers too. A friend uses BB personally and I'm waiting for him to upgrade to 10 ... possibly ... maybe ... ish.

            I still personally reckon that when time is called for Nokia to re-enter the mobile ring, they'll take Sailfish and really make it ... er ... sail ...?

  4. getHandle

    Or maybe it just sounds so achingly hip...

    That the few people who've heard of it don't give a flying fuck.

  5. Jonathan 27

    Too many mobile platforms make devs lives a pain. As a dev that means I must hate FireFox OS on principle. That and an OS based entirely around web apps is kinda pointless.

  6. Detective Emil

    Just OK

    The trouble is, I dont "love Firefox". It's OK if it's the only browser that happens to be installed, or if the browser I normally use isn't behaving, but otherwise … meh. That emotion's not going to sell me on a phone.

  7. Mookster

    One guy at work had the FF phone. He gave up after a month due to it being unbearably sh!te - nothing todo with the lack of apps (which would be html anyway, right?)

  8. YARR

    I don't condone using sex to sell, but that certainly is one foxy lady.

  9. bystander

    That is a shame. I am really disappointed in this decision.

    Firefox (web applications) promised OS agnostic future for application development based on open APIs without control from behemoths like Google, MS or Facebook. Applications which could be started from Web when you need them and be gone from your device when you don't (similar to web pages you surfing). There are companies in the Web which tired of Google monopoly and would be glad to have their services Web services used. And there are app. developers which are tired of maintaining several version of their application for each of major mobile platform (application for some platforms are not provided for this reason). One unified OS agnostic platform would allow to resolve this issue.

    Firefox OS is to provide light-weight way of supporting this future with devices (small storage, system in ROM, application running from RAM) which do not cost as fully functional computer, something very chip which could be bought from convenience store for the price of mobile service SIM (or subsidised by service provider).

    1. RISC OS

      I have a FF OS phone...

      Alcatel one touch fire... for texts and phoning it is ok... but the apps suck balls, there are not enough of them. The other problem is that people write android and ios apps and let everyone else use a normal website. Which are FFOS apps... this sucks balls as most websites run badly on the phone. Mozilla's plan seemed to have hinged on everyone being willing to write a mobile version of their website... sadly that plan got ballsed up as no one seems to a have bothered. I use multicity car sharing from Citroen.... hardly small fry but even they only have an android and ios app... I get stuck with their desktop website that is completely unzoomable on such a low spec machine and completely unsable.

      The only two apps I ever use are bbc news and the guardian... but as this is just a mobile version of their website it gets so bogged down with scripts and ajax loads that they just crash or you get asked if the tab should reload or just close... no "ignore the delay" option like on desktop FF... so half the websites with mobile frontends can never actually load as the hardware can't handle it... I could cry.

      I won't be getting another one... I feel like someone who is using an OSS alternative to skype looks nice but completely pointless for chatting as everyone else is using skype and has no reason to swap.

      Now I have received, about 8 months ago, an update... it broke shit loads of things... the apps crash every few minutes, there are huge memory leaks which means I have to restart the phone again - often, I now can't uninstall apps, the list goes on... and now no more updates... who knows when I will get another.

      I tried a few apps and basically they are just experiments by bored web devs to see if they should bother making a FFOS version of stuff... some even require features that the phones from Mozilla don't have as they are low spec... I guess the devs were using some kind of geeksphone which came with better hardware.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Handset manufacturers dragging their software heels

    I bought a ZTE Open C off FleaBay to have a play with a year ago.

    Fast and good battery life.

    ZTE launched with FFOS 1.2 IIRC and have not released any updates since.

    IMO that's a big part of the problem too. No improved user experience and all that.

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