Firefox OS has a long way to go to compete with Android

by: Kristofer WoukSeptember 28, 2012

Firefox OS

According to a recent report, Mozilla’s Firefox OS should only expect to see around 1 percent of the global smartphone OS market in 2013, compared to Android’s 67 percent. The report says it could take as long as two years to turn this around, so should Google worry about Firefox OS at all, or turn their focus on other competitors?

Looking at 2013

TechCrunch reports that according to a report by Strategy Analytics, Mozilla’s Firefox OS will likely only see about 1 percent global market share, and Android is expected to keep its lead with 67 percent. As the first handsets to use Firefox OS will be aimed at the lower-budget portion of the market, that puts Firefox OS in direct competition with Android, with Android having the advantage of being there first.

While that may seem a bleak prospect for Firefox OS, Mozilla has made headway in getting handset manufacturers on board. Sprint, ZTE, Telefonica and Deutsche Telekom all have agreements in place to carry phones running Firefox OS, but whether that is enough to gain Firefox OS the footing it needs won’t be clear for some time.

The Real Competition

In the TechCrunch article, Strategy Analytics analyst Neil Mawston is quoted as saying “It took Android just two years from commercial launch to overtake Symbian and go from new entrant to established global leader, so things can change extremely fast in the smartphone industry.” This is certainly true, but while it was popular, Symbian didn’t have the same level of brand awareness that Android currently enjoys.

With Firefox OS, Aliyun, Tizen and MeeGo all being names that have appeared in recent news, it’s easy to focus on the competition they may bring to Google or Microsoft, but we often forget that they will be competing against each other as well. With each OS fighting to gain ground, competition will be fierce, and it isn’t likely that all of them are going to make it out alive.

Do you think that Firefox OS poses a threat to Android, or should Google worry about the more immediate competition from companies like Microsoft and Apple?

  • The only areas Firefox OS will overtake any other smartphone OS will be in the number of sympathy cards they get from the competition for failing, and the number of angry users because they can’t fix known bugs because developers will blame users for the problems. There’s a reason I stopped using their browser. Their support is terrible, the project is plagued with developer ego.

  • Leon, I take it that you haven’t used Firefox for a while then … a tip, update your addons before using it and you really should have a very stable browser. ;o)

    Firefox OS is very customizable and very easy to write apps for. The fact that a little html, js and css can be used to write a full featured app and that they are the basis of the phone is a big advantage. In the end, like always, it will depend what users prefer.