Recently Mozilla came up with the news that they are shutting down the Firefox OS project for good. This means there is one less player in the smartphone market. However the saved efforts will be put into IoT devices domain as Mozilla is shifting its focus towards connected home domain.
At the Orlando developer conference of Mozilla it was announced that Firefox OS is finally being dumped to focus on internet of things platform and connected home solutions. Mozilla also made it clear that it will not sell Firefox OS to carriers but will cease making Firefox OS updates.
Ari Jaaksi, Senior VP of Mozilla for connected devices revealed that the team working on Firefox OS will now shift its focus on development connected IoT devices solutions.
It is for sure a clear sign that IoT is very relevant things in the present and tech giants are shifting their focus aggressively to be part of it. The demise of the OS can be attributed to tough competition particularly from Android phones. Even though Fire phones were designed to be less expensive than their competitors still popularity of iPhones and Android devices finally took toll on them.
Brands like Telefonica, Alcatel and ZTE were shipping the OS based devices yet the demand was not sufficient enough to consider Firefox OS as any smartphone OS alternative. Another interesting fact that was pointed out by PC World is that, up to 95% of Firefox OS code is from Gecko platform which makes it more of a browsing utility.
The new focus challenges
It is obvious that Firefox OS team will be disheartened with the news but the chance to work on internet of things applications is an opportunity that will help them to take on new challenges.
But the fate will not be easy in connected devices market for Mozilla as well. Like smartphone domain Apple is a stiff competition for the brand here too. Apple’s Homekit platform is already in the market and brand has teamed with companies like Phillips that are major players in home electronics market. Another tough competition is from Samsung that has SmartThings hub in the market. SmartThings supports components from Philips, Honeywell, Aeon and LIFX.
Mozilla played an underdog in the smartphone OS domain and now it will be facing the same competitors in the Internet of Things market. The solution to the challenge is to motivate and encourage app developers to use Mozilla IoT solutions and get them more excited than they were about the company’s mobile OS. Lastly the open source nature of Mozilla is going to be a threat for company’s IoT platform security. If these challenges are met Mozilla can take a substantial space in the connected devices market.