The Fiery Fox Enters the Smartphone Jungle
Rita is a member of The Motley Fool Blog Network -- entries represent the personal opinion of the blogger and are not formally edited.
As if things were already not heated up enough in the smartphone space, the web browser maker Mozilla decided to enter the battlefield with its latest Firefox offering. The space seems to be quite packed and already there is a lot of traction between the existing giants such as Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) and Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) and the new entrant Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT). However, Mozilla won’t take the exact path of these biggies and wants to play the game differently. How? Read on.
About Mozilla’s endeavor
The Firefox OS is entirely on HTML5 standards making it a truly web-based platform. Mozilla has also designed the OS in such a way that the HTML code for any and every item that appears on the screen can be seen with a single soft touch. The OS interface has the option to view the code for anything ranging from web pages to pictures and videos and songs. Another thing that is nice to know is this new platform is pretty fast too. Since it’s all HTML codes, the platform’s responsiveness is good and the chances of hanging are next to nothing.
But, there still are similarities between this OS and the Windows Phone OS and Android. Like the Android OS, even this OS has the option of sliding screens making it easier to surf through the apps and contents of the phone. And, like the Windows Phone OS, the Firefox OS also has tiles on the home screen.
Will 2013 be the year of the Fox?
The smartphone space is very unpredictable and dynamic in nature. We have seen Android rise to success and even Windows Phone OS is gaining prominence with each passing day. So, there are good chances that even Mozilla can make its mark among the biggies once its launches the new OS some time in 2013. However, the answer to the question will be a ‘No’ if Mozilla fails to overcome some pretty big hurdles.
Firstly, smartphone market is nothing like the web browser market. The market is far more developed and competitive. This is a totally new ball game for Mozilla and one wrong move or one less right move can make or break it.
Secondly, the entry-level smartphone segment is already flooded with Android and Bada OS enabled handsets. In fact, Android covers pretty much from low-end to high-end devices. And now, even Nokia (NYSE: NOK) is planning on bringing out Windows Phone OS powered phones at really cheaper prices such as the Lumia 610. With all these big names already in this segment, it will be really difficult for Mozilla to convert users.
Thirdly, Mozilla is now going to be up against the mighty Google. Every year Google pays a huge sum of money to Mozilla to make sure Google Search stays as the default search engine in the Firefox browser. Now if Google decides to change this arrangement, Mozilla is going to fall into deep trouble which might even pull up questions about its survival, let alone chances of competing with Google and other giants.
Mozilla’s fight for market share with Microsoft and Google is not new. In fact, Mozilla was the first company to challenge Microsoft’s Internet Explorer and took the web world by storm with its Firefox browser. These three companies are the makers of the three most used web browsers in the world – Internet Explorer, Chrome and Firefox. After posing as a true rival in the browser space, now Mozilla has decided to enter the mobile OS space. Side by side, now the company will become a direct rival of Google and Apple. But, it seems, Mozilla is up for the challenge. With carrier support from Sprint, Smart, Telecom Italia and Telenor, Mozilla has already made arrangements with Alcatel and ZTE to manufacture smartphones powered by their OS. Though success in the web browser market does not ensure even an inch of success in the mobile OS market, still it will be of great amusement to see how this company will change the dynamics of this highly competitive market.
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