Bidding Goodbye To Mozilla’s Firefox OS Phones
As Microsoft can attest, challenging Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS in the world of mobile operating systems is no walk in the park. For Mozilla, it knew that its Firefox OS only had a slim chance of becoming as successful as Android or iOS. And it did not help that growth has been very, very slow in the last twelve months. When Mozilla finally ceded defeat by last week, the company itself kind of expected it.
Not many people even knew or cared that Mozilla had threw in the towel. But they should because we now live in a world that has become increasingly dominated by only two rulers, Android and iOS. There is nothing wrong with the apps they offer, but even sometimes one must wonder if there are any other alternatives out there that is offered by either Google or Apple. And sometimes you can get stuck on something just because it is the default tool on your mobile platform, even though you don’t really like using it, e.g. Apple Maps on iOS.
Mozilla was supposed to offer a more open alternative, at least in the world of mobile software, but it was not to be. When Mozilla first released its Firefox OS phones more than a couple of years ago, it was looking to replicate the success it had achieved with its Firefox web browser. But what happened was that Firefox OS quickly brushed aside to the bench, together with Microsoft’s Windows Phone and Canada’s BlackBerry. There is still some hope for Firefox OS, but not necessarily on phones anymore, but on the concept of the Internet of Things, where it might be able to carve a niche -- that is, before Android and iOS also start to gobble up everything else in that arena.
Even Mozilla’s Firefox web browser is losing some followers. Its market share has dropped from 19 percent to just 9 percent across the globe over the last three years. Meanwhile, Chrome continues to grow, from 32 percent to 48 percent. And because people nowadays do their Internet surfing on mobile devices, they are most likely to use either Google’s Chrome (the default browser on Android) or Apple’s Safari (the default browser on iOS), or the native web browser app on their phones (e.g. Samsung Internet Browser). Of course, web browsing on desktop computers has not gone extinct entirely, but in a few years, fewer and fewer people will be using non-mobile browsers for certain.
So what’s next for Mozilla? The company will likely still try to push the Firefox browser on mobile devices while it still can. But as for the Firefox OS, it will live on as H5OS, aiming to thrive in the open and Web based mobile OS space. For Firefox OS phones, however, this may be their last goodbye.