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Sprint Corporation Message Board

  • teamrep teamrep Feb 25, 2013 11:52 AM Flag

    What's up with the Firefox/Mozilla phones?

    The flurry of articles portray the Mozilla Firefox 'operating system' as a contender against Android OS phones, helping to push them down in price to sub $100. That is a stretch of reality... probably fed by hype from the Mozilla Firefox camp.

    What has been ocurring, starting with development of Java/javascript and extension frameworks of browsers and then accelerating with previous, Apple and open mobile OS platforms, is that operating systems have become the 'smart interface' to mobile cloud environments. That has taken the momentum from the desktop dominated by browsers to the mobile OS environments where the role of the browser is less important and more diverse. In other words, Firefox, MS IE, G Chrome, and others share the mobile space as only a subset of the mobile experience, making Firefox' role threatened. Its either get into the mobile space or a slow death.

    Another shift is happening: while the browser has become part of a more diverse environment it has also become more powerful. HTML-5, leaner scripting including display frameworks such as Twitter Bootstrap, and the growth of rapid development platforms including applications development and web CMS has enabled the browser to do more as part of a distributed, software defined network experience.

    The outcome of this is probably that browsers will become less important of a factor in determining price, rather than more. The cost is shifting down across all the web browsers and OS environments, except, arguably Apple's OSX because of the control the company places on their platform.

    meanwhile, device suppliers are struggling for ways to differentiate themselves while jumping from one frying pan into another: handset suppliers are forced to use one or more of the OS environments while leaving subscribers open to making use of their choice of browser and applications and content stores. They do not want to become captive to a single OS platform supplier.. thus the willingness to support alternatives.

    I suspect that Firefox will be similar to Microsoft OS.. its likely to capture a small portion of marketshare. The difficulty is overcoming the large development groups that support Apple, Google Android/Chrome. This goes beyond the OS itself into apps and content stores, services support, and marketshare momentum. While the situation remains fluid, its unlikely that Mozilla Firefox will claim a large part of the device OS share.

    What does this mean for Sprint-Softbank? practically nothing. Like other operators, they can play off the different environments but will support those that subscribers most want.

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