Mobile Networks and carriers
have been on the lookout for a third party OS in order to bring competition to the market. This is largely because operators are now highly frustrated with the hold that OS’s like Google Android and Apple iOS have over the general consumer in the market of smart phones. In such a case, carriers would prefer to have something to counter balance with in order to negotiate prices; the lower the price, the more the consumers. Carriers would also prefer more control over the platform being operated unlike Apple and Android who seem to pay no heed to what the operators want and need, as said by the VP of WDA which is a mobile marketing company.
The news about HTML 5 also comes at a very notable time; the loss of market share for BlackBerry because of the yet again delays of the new BlackBerry operating systems which was due for release this year. Meanwhile even the Windows 7 and 8 phones haven’t made enough of a lasting impact.
Some of the carriers that have already supported the Firefox OS are Etisalat, Telenor, Telefonica, Deutsche Telekom, and Telecom Italia. Mozilla has also announced the first devices to be manufactured with the Firefox OS will be through TCL, Alcatel One Touch and ZTE. Expected releases have been announced for the start of 2013 in Brazil. Prices for the ZTE and TCL devices will most likely be between $100-150 in prepaid and free with a contract from a carrier. If Firefox wants to be a viable competitor in today’s market, then they also need the support from manufacturers. While they do have initial support from TCL and ZTE, other manufacturers will most probably simply wait and see how the devices turn out in terms of performance.
One of the challenges that the company will most likely be facing is the issue of branding. Marketing and branding this device will be a challenging task since HTC and ZTE are not quite up to the par on their own and same is the case for Firefox, as said by senior VP of research, Wally Swain of the Yankee Group.