Mozilla’s Firefox OS Gives The Open Web Top Billing On Mobile

Frederic Lardinois | TechCrunch | August 25, 2013

Mozilla was late to mobile and now it’s trying to catch up. For a while now, the nonprofit has been releasing mobile versions of its Firefox browser for Android, but its most ambitious project to date is its Firefox OS mobile operating system for smartphones.

Earlier this month, the Chinese handset manufacturer ZTE made the first set of its entry-level unlocked $80 Firefox OS phones available in the U.S. and the U.K. and quickly sold out the first batch of about 1,000 devices in each country. In Europe, the devices were already on sale through Deutsche Telekom in Poland and Telefonica in Colombia, Spain and Venezuela.

Earlier this month, I got a chance to talk to Mozilla’s Principal Developer Evangelist Christian Heilmann to talk about what this project means for developers. The company also sent me a review unit of the ZTE Open.

As Heilmann stressed when I talked to him, the phone is meant to fill what Mozilla believes is a “massive gap in the mobile space.” Right now, the organization rightly argues, mobile connectivity to the web is only for “the rich people in the modern world.” [...]