Earlier this year Mozilla announced that they are on the verge on setting foot in the smartphone race against Apple and Google. The free software company is looking to develop two phones that will make headway in the fight against a tyrannical Apple OS and the not so openly open source Android. Imagine that? A smartphone that can actually be used on an open source platform. Isn’t the world changing?
The news was made public to the world especially early on in the year due to other corporate giants that are looking to make a dive deeper into the market. These include Samsung, Jolla, and Canonical. The news was taken with such verve in the blogospheres where the concept has been trolling around like a bad joke. As things currently stand Apple and Google do not have much competition but with something as revolutionary as this the world is bound to be tipped over.
What Mozilla is trying to do however, is not to jump into the American and Western European markets that have been overflowing with the smartphone splurge ever since 2009 but they are looking to start with South America. Brazil to be precise. This tactic will look to give them greater popularity with that region just like Samsung has been doing in Africa. Soon enough the Mozilla smartphone will be the only one used in the country.
By heading for emerging markets they are giving the people of those countries the opportunity to experience the new revolutionary platform that the software giant is trying to peddle. In those countries the OS and Android are yet to be a major deal but once they have been offered something cheaper but just as good they will all want a piece of the action. This will promote the company’s overall success in those markets.
But why would the Mozilla smartphone be cheap? That’s because those at the top of the design and programming decided that the phone will run on HTML5 apps. This is a bit of a let down for the avid smartphone user because it’s basically your typical browsing capabilities on a typical smartphone screen with apps that work less smoothly than those of Android. But let’s give them props because this is just their first try as opposed to Google’s years of experience.
The versions of the phone being shipped out to developers also show the world that these are phones for nations that are less than. Their processors are not fast enough and the megapixels on the cameras range between four and eight. Yes, this isn’t much to look at, especially the fact that the 1.2-GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 CPU. Yeah, these guys could do a lot better. However, this is perfect for emerging markets because it keeps the price on the down low.
The Mozilla platform also offers greater freedom due to the fact that you are allowed to distribute your apps as widely as possible. This is what I meant when I said making open source a bit more open. These guys are going to make it possible to sale your apps to the world without having to go through some enhanced procedures reminiscent of Google and Android. But how useful is this if it’s intended for an emerging market. Not so much. These nations are only starting to use smartphones as opposed to feature phones. Working out the kinks may not be as easy for them.
All I can say is give Mozilla a couple of years and we will have something to compete with Google and Android. These developments will lead to a world where smartphone is just a memory and genius-phone is a reality.