Android’s Competition: This is the first “Firefox Phone”


Another competitor has just stepped into the arena, folks. Mozilla has long been working on its mobile web-based operating system, and it’s because of the nature of Mozilla as a whole — an open-source minded company with a software culture not unlike Google’s — that our eyes are peeled. Welp, the folks have finally officially revealed the first device the operating system will run on.

It’s a very orange developer device that won’t be targeted toward consumers just yet. Spec junkies will feel a bit underwhelmed as it’s sporting a modest 1GHz Snapdragon processor, 512MB of RAM, a 3 megapixel camera, 4GB of internal storage and more.

Of course, specs alone only tell half the story. The first Windows Phone devices didn’t launch with the most vaunted set of specs in the world but the operating system was optimized to be as smooth as butter. Most application developers won’t mind these archaic specs, but we imagine those looking to develop games for it will be looking for something a bit more (though I have a feeling games isn’t a huge focus of Mozilla’s right now).

Personally, I’m just left wondering who’s going to get this device for the sole purpose of trying to shoehorn Android onto it. Mozilla hasn’t really convinced many folks that its operating system will be the one that can knock Android off its pedestal. Canonical is trying in a very convincing fashion early on with Ubuntu, and despite a solid first showing there are still early doubts about its ability to compete.

That doesn’t mean there isn’t room for yet another mobile operating system, of course — developing markets are sure to welcome choice and variety. We could see a few OEMs in the likes of China and South America adopt these new operating systems with open arms, but for now Android is still going to dominate the hearts of the big name players such as Samsung, Motorola, Sony, HTC and more.

[via Geeksphone]

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. Umm…that UI…is hideous

    1. Oh, how far have we come in the android community where we can call another OS hideous. Good time.s

    2. hmm it still looks better than Windows Phone!

    3. Browser Firefox’s default skin is “hideous” as well but there are infinite skins

  2. umum.. I would like to try… but.. it seems the phone is too small compare with nowadays’ phone.

  3. Yeah, compare it to the first windoze phones as a benefit of the doubt? Riiiiight.

  4. Someone is already working on this theme for Android. That is the power of Android :-)

  5. Looks like a kids toy.

  6. I was honestly expecting better from Mozilla. This is just disappointing, at best. At worst, it’s an April Fools Joke a few months too early.

  7. Not another OS…

  8. Smooth as better is my new catch phrase

    1. It just wouldn’t be an article by Quentyn with out a typo in it, would it…

      1. Somehow, I will take this as a compliment. O_o

  9. Interesting what this new competition will bring to the table.

  10. 2010 specs I see, man those specs match up pretty close to the O.G. EVO.

    1. Makes me think it would be pretty easy to port it to the Droid Incredible and Evo 4G. Not that I can do it, but it would be pretty cool to check this OS out. It would be cool to see those two phones have the life cycle of the that one windows phone that keeps getting ports of everything.

  11. If its not Android for me then Ubuntu would be my next choice. I dont even care for firefox as a browser let alone them trying to put together an OS

    1. been thinking about ubuntu just to spice things up. i love android just as much as anyone else on this site, but i have to admit, that buttonless layout would look awesome on my gnex

      1. Ive been thinking about picking up a Gnex just to give it a whirl.

  12. I wonder whose footing the bill for patents like radio an touch screen an other nefarious ones not well known to the public.

  13. The only one of those new OSs that might even have a chance to survive the next 12 months is Ubuntu. The Firefox phone looks dinky, sorry.

  14. Where to start >.>, well first the UI looks even worse then gingerbread, with those weird over sized icons making it look like a toy phone, then the actual phone >.> well it has as much bezel as that new Blackberry 10 phone, I don’t know who thought adding bezel on top of more bezel was a great idea. The hardware inside of the phone seems to be low-low end. If they are serious with this, the least they could do is put out a serious product, unless they are targeting a price point of like 50-100 bucks.

    1. you do realise this is NOT the finished product right? its basically an engineering sample – made to develop the entire OS and its ecosystem. it is a FAR way from what will eventually be released. Would you prefer them waste time/effort in designing a shiny device to host this pre-alpha in, or to channel the effort into the actual OS itself….. Of course it will not look like this on release, nor will the device look as clunky as it. sheesh! just sayin.

  15. No. Just no. Also, why?

  16. Someones about to get sued :-$ (by Apple of course)

  17. By the way that thing is ugly as hell. Reminds me of a Ginger child, lol :-P

    1. I was a ginger child. Very cute one though, so I’m not offended.

  18. I’m willing to put money into the fact that this will die by the end of the year.

    1. Didn’t they think this about Android? How it was going to fail against Apple? Just saying. Open-Source is more wanted than you can imagine.

  19. Gotta be a hoax or a joke, it just doesn’t add up. Those specs are ridiculous for any OS no matter what you implemented into the system coding.

  20. Interesting observation about Ubuntu phone when they have no carrier or OEM interest while Firefox has both.

  21. I’d rather Mozilla focus on taking back their spot as the number 1 browser alternative to internet explorer. I don’t see why Ubuntu and Mozilla are wasting their time trying to compete with Apple, Microsoft, and Google. There are a ton of other things Mozilla could occupy themselves with rather than trying to make a mobile OS so that a thousand or so people could use it. The mainstream definitely won’t be switching to Firefox or Ubuntu’s mobile OS and neither will techies because the nexus line of phones already supplies enough geekery for geeks to geek out to their hearts content. On top of that the nexus line has a robust app store and native android development.

    1. I used to love Firefox as my primary browser, I never used IE after finding it, but then i found CHROME, and ill never go back.

  22. Also, the entire ui is built with js and HTML, so, you can easily change it to look like whatever. I’m sure recipes will start being published before long.

  23. No idea why everyones giving Firefox a bad time on this.
    You all realize this is EXACTLY how Apple fan boys acted when Android first came out? Android, too, was hideous. Atleast let them demo it etc. before biasing yourself to this already.
    Kudos to Firefox for trying something new!

    1. Android was many things , but “hideous” was not one of them. Android has been sexy from day one.

    2. It’s almost silly to think of firefox competing with google, apple, and microsoft. The only way I see mozilla or ubuntu succeeding is if they get strong support from, and team up from a large phone manufacturer like Samsung or LG. There have been hints of Samsung starting to consider other options besides android but I don’t see how they would thing mozilla or ubuntu could give any value to what they could do themselves.

  24. so is this like a chromebook but for a phone? I bet they would have better luck if they first came out with a chromebook like computer first. I think there are a lot of Firefox fans that would pick one up.

  25. Oh wow. I know it’s only recently Android starting looking so damn beautiful but MY GOD that phone IS HORRIBLE. I *love* Firefox, don’t get me wrong. Firefox and Chrome I use interchangeably (or if I have too many Chrome tabs and windows open, I’ll go to Firefox as well). But that color scheme… first off that’s the best thing about it but still, it’s kind of an eyesore so I hope they tone it down just a bit. I know they want the Firefox color scheme but stilll.
    This phone looks like one of those crappy excuses for a mobile device that I make fun of my boyfriend for selling all day (he inexplicably went from working for Sprint to Cricket) and I don’t think Android is going to have a thing to be concerned with for at least 3 years.

  26. Well, you have to start somewhere, but I highly doubt they will get noticed in the lime light. Today’s market you have to bring it. Maybe back when Android first started. It’s either Android, iOS, or Windows. In that order to.

  27. Too soon …

  28. Specs can change but the lack of native hardware support is a big problem. You’ll need even more hardware to make anything run well. Maybe HTML5 is fine for 90% of apps but it’s the 10% that people actually want.

  29. Uhh.. it looks like a denatured iPhone. Try again, Firefox.

    You shall not pass go, nor collect $200.

  30. Talkn bout piece of crappy phone

  31. I can only see this thing working in a very particular market. Burner/Pre-paid phone. Can’t see it working well in any other area.

  32. So much hate for a new OS

  33. Well mobile OS

  34. It looks like Nokia and Apple got in bed together, and something went horribly wrong.

  35. Firefox, meet apple!

    It seems your device is utilizing a single button on the face of the device, characterized by a circle outline. This is far too revolutionary, by Apple standards, and hence will leave you with an injunction on your product, and a hefty court fee.

    Simply add more buttons to make it easier to use the services provided by your product, ‘being less innovative’, and you should be fine.

  36. Thats the most disgusting thing i ever saw, it might be the orange, im not sure.

  37. Wow, when I read this I had to check the date, that phone looks straight out of 2009.

  38. People forget browser Firefox’s default skin is “hideous” as well but there are infinite skins that would make it crap all over most stock android skins

  39. There is no way in hell they can launch a 4GB phone and expect to stay in the market. A new OS is bold enough, but to have the nerve to launch it with 4 GB of storage is just stupid.

  40. uptil I saw the draft of $9994, I did not believe that…my… mother in law woz like trully bringing home money parttime on-line.. there neighbor haz done this for less than 1 year and resently repayed the loans on their condo and bought a brand new Peugeot 205 GTi. I went here, jump15.comCHECK IT OUT

  41. oh snap! rounded corners on a rectangular slab, minimal chrome, a single button, 4 app icons in a dock, promo photo of it being held by a caucasian hand, depth of field used to blur the background to highlight the device itself, phone icon is green, home button is round….

    this is just SCREAMING “sue me Apple, SUE ME”

  42. Not sure why everyone is crapping on this phone. It stacks up nicely next to the Motorola Droid 1.

  43. Glad to see businesses trying to compete. Helps other to keep innovating. Good on ya Mozilla. It wont be for me, but good luck!

  44. Thing is, mobile is VERY difficult to break into and there are several well-established players. If you’re looking to break in with a new product, it needs to offer something compelling to get people to switch.

    Show me a use-case that lets you do something with Firefox OS that you can’t accomplish with iOS/Android. I just haven’t seen that yet.

    For example, Ubuntu showed off it’s thin client/full desktop mode that looks way more polished than when Motorola attempted something similar with the Atrix. This is the sort of thing that gets people excited about a new mobile OS.

  45. Beats my G1

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