Firefox OS

01 July 2013

Mozilla and Telefónica have announced a phone running Firefox OS this morning - the ZTE Open. It will cost $69.

Mozilla, as usual, promotes the open nature of its OS along with the fact that it is powered by web technologies:

I honestly don't get it:

  • As a user, why should I care that my phone is using web technologies? What is the benefit for me?
  • This is the main argument that I have heard about FirefoxOS. Not that it is fast, features-rich or with a huge ecosystem. Just that the OS was built with web technologies. Once again, why should I care ? It's a technical detail, not something that has any value for a consumer.
  • Firefox means a slow and heavy browser. The phone costs $69, which will probably result in a crappy hardware. The web (HTML, CSS and JavaScript) is a nice environment, a really powerful one to create websites, but it is slow. I want my phone to run quickly and smoothly. I want it to scroll at 60 fps. This phone (Firefox + crappy hardware + web) sounds not like a good deal.

I would like to be wrong, but I don't expect much and I don't see the value of Firefox OS, especially against its main competitor — Android. There are Android phones that are cheaper AND with Google Play.

I agree with Benedict Evans: