Mozilla to cease the development and sale of Firefox OS smartphones [Update]

by XB on 9th December 2015

in Tips & Tricks

Firefox OS XperiaThere was a time, albeit a couple of years back now, that Sony Mobile was rumoured to be working on new Xperia smartphones based on Firefox OS. Sony developers were certainly intrigued with the lightweight OS and even released official Firefox OS ROMs for some devices such as the Xperia E. Well it looks like Mozilla’s foray into Firefox OS smartphones has come to an end.

The company confirmed that it will end the development and sale of Firefox OS phones as it wasn’t “able to offer the best user experience possible”. Mozilla tried to crack the budget end of the smartphone market within developing regions, but struggled to compete against Android with its wide eco-system of apps. Firefox OS will continue to live on through other channels, notably within an IoT (Internet of Things) platform.

We imagine that this ceases the FreeXperia (FXP) team’s development of Firefox OS too for Xperia smartphones, but we’ve reached out for a comment. The FXP team were working in collaboration with Mozilla to support a number of Sony Xperia devices in Mozilla’s repos. Firefox OS support was included for the Xperia Z3, Z3 Compact, Z2, Z1, Z1 Compact, T2 Ultra and E3.

Mozilla statement from Ari Jaaksi, Mozilla’s SVP of Connected Devices

“We are proud of the benefits Firefox OS added to the Web platform and will continue to experiment with the user experience across connected devices. We will build everything we do as a genuine open source project, focused on user experience first and build tools to enable the ecosystem to grow.

Firefox OS proved the flexibility of the Web, scaling from low-end smartphones all the way up to HD TVs. However, we weren’t able to offer the best user experience possible and so we will stop offering Firefox OS smartphones through carrier channels. We’ll share more on our work and new experiments across connected devices soon.”

Update: FXP says that Firefox OS development will continue on Sony Xperia devices “for a long time“.

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