Mozilla has apparently ended its foray into the mobile device market, admitting it “wasn’t able to offer the best experience possible”.
The company made its bold entry into the market with Firefox OS in 2012, in an attempt to create an alternative to Google’s Android powered by open web technologies. A number of operators and vendors signed up to support the effort, with a handful of devices launched in the interim.
As recently as May 2015 Orange began offering Firefox OS devices in Africa, as part of an effort to drive mobile internet use in the region.
However, the platform has not gained traction, failing to break from the “other” category in smartphone market share, and for all the talk of openness, has struggled against the ecosystem of content and apps offered by Android.
And with Android devices becoming cheaper, the opportunity for Firefox OS at the low end has ebbed away.
Earlier this year, Mozilla refocused its Firefox OS activities, dropping plans for a $25 Firefox phone, in order to “focus on efforts that provide a better user experience, rather than focusing on cost alone”.
The company has also seen some high-profile executive departures from the Firefox OS team.
A statement from Ari Jaaksi, SVP of connected devices for Mozilla, said that the company will “stop offering Firefox OS smartphones through carrier channels”. He also said that it will “share more on our work and new experiences across connected devices soon”.
At CES earlier this year, Mozilla made an effort to promote Firefox OS beyond smartphones, noting its use in smart TVs by vendor Panasonic.