Firefox Mobile OS: The emerging threat to Android and iPhone Supremacy

Firefox Mobile OS Home ScreenFirefox Mobile Operating System is one of the most awaited Software Product releases of 2013. Last month the company announced that it would roll out the OS in the markets of seven countries by July 2013.

Market Analysts see it as a grave threat to the Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS supremacy. It may even wipe out Blackberry and Windows Mobile out of the market. This article tries to find out the reasons why Firefox Mobile OS is going to be a hit among masses.

Open Web Standards

Firefox Mobile OS has been developed completely using open web stack. Unlike Android or iOS, no proprietary technology has been involved in its development.   It is designed to allow HTML5 applications to communicate directly with the device’s hardware using JavaScript. Firefox OS smartphones are the first built entirely to open Web standards, enabling every feature to be developed as an HTML5 application.

According to Mozilla, the aim of Firefox Mobile OS  is to “pursue the goal of building a complete, standalone operating system for the open web” in order to “find the gaps that keep web developers from being able to build apps that are – in every way – the equals of native apps built for the iPhone [iOS], Android, and WP7 [Windows Phone 7].


Mozilla doesnot need to create its own developed base for the Firefox Mobile OS.  Since the software stack is entirely HTML5 there are already a large number of established developers in the market and anyone who understands HTML5 can dirty his hands with the new OS. This will give Mozilla a big boost in the initial stage as most of the app developers regardless of their platform, would rush to launch the Firefox version of their app.

Mozilla has released the so called WebAPI,  enabling developers to to build applications which would then run in any standards compliant browser without the need to rewrite their application for each platform.


The Firefox Mobile OS has been demonstrated to  run on several Android-compatible smartphones.  Last year, Mozilla demonstrated a “sneak preview” of the software and apps running on Samsung Galaxy S II phones (replacing their usual Android operating system). In August 2012, it was demonstrated   that Firefox OS running on a Raspberry Pi also.

In fact Firefox OS is compatible with devices including: Otoro, PandaBoard, Emulator (ARM and x86), Desktop, Nexus S, Nexus S 4G,Samsung Galaxy S II, and Galaxy Nexus

This means Device makers can ship the new Firefox OS based phones on their existing hardware itself. Most of the Android device makers would easily start shipping Mozilla based Smartphones in a small span of time.


Being a crowd-sourced Operating System, it can be easily deduced that Firefox would have nearly all features found in modern Mobile OS like Android or iOS. The initial release screenshot shows  a lock screen, home screen, telephone dialer, text-messaging application, and camera app.

Apart from all this, the motive behind Firefox Mobile OS has been much impressive. Mozilla plans to neutralize the competition in the Mobile OS segment and restore the balance which disappeared by the emergence of vendor specific OS.  Mozilla plans to release the First Wave of the Firefox OS in July 2013,  to the consumers in Brazil, Colombia, Hungary, Mexico, Montenegro, Poland, Serbia, Spain and Venezuela.

In the  Indian Smartphone market, it would release the OS probably in early 2014 depending on the success of the First Wave.