Today, Mozilla announced that Firefox Mobile OS, an implementation of their Boot to Gecko Project, will be shipping on smartphones across the globe starting next year.
[quote][…]Leading operators Deutsche Telekom, Etisalat, Smart, Sprint, Telecom Italia, Telefónica and Telenor are backing the open Firefox OS as an exciting new entrant to the smartphone marketplace. […] Device manufacturers TCL Communication Technology (under the Alcatel One Touch brand) and ZTE today announced their intentions to manufacture the first devices to feature the new Firefox OS, using Snapdragon™ processors from Qualcomm Incorporated, the leader in smartphone platforms. The first Firefox OS powered devices are expected to launch commercially in Brazil in early 2013 through Telefónica’s commercial brand, Vivo.[/quote]
This bizarre conceptual hybrid of Palm’s failed WebOS and Google’s strange Chrome OS doesn’t exactly make us hopeful. It really just seems like Telecoms are searching for an Android replacement now that Google is tightening the reins on their “Open” platform. As Mozilla becomes more and more irrelevant, it seems like they are hoping to fill the niche that Android is trying to leave behind.
If this actually takes off at all, how long until the phone companies co-opt Mozilla’s product with disgusting custom UIs and permanent apps? Until we see something especially persuasive, we’ll continue to stand here with our arms crossed.